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!


How Lucky Can A Guy Be?

Good Morning Friends,

This is, of course, our daughter, Kawena May Ruth. She is named after her godmother, a native Hawaiian. Pronounced KAvenNa, it means 'The Glow'.

You know, you can work and plan and save and hope that all will turn out like you hope - then - wham!! Something or someone will come along in your life and there it is, a moment that changes everything. Unplanned. Perfect as a snowflake. Your daughter getting caught raiding the chocolate. A gift giving you heaven, an image that is so wonderful that you carry it with you until you stop breathing and perhaps even further on.

Thats one of the really nice things about being a human. If we are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and, well, you get the picture....... (pun intended).

Which brings me back to my 'Road To Aticama' tale. It has been building up in my mind almost to the bursting point and I am working hard to find the right kind of time to let it out! Seems time is precious these days but expect a new chapter sometime this week.

Tonight I take Francis to the school choir practice - he is covering it as a reporter for the Cedar Park Middle School yearbook. How cool is that?


Monday, November 9, 2009

Very, Very Good

Good Evening Readers,

I hope that you were able to take a listen to the song 'Stand By Me' via the link in my last posting. Well, I have some good news - I have found and resurrected my HP Scanjet! An oldie but a goodie, must be 7 or 8 years old but.....
It will now be possible to click on my photos and they will get larger!

Lets give it a try. The photo is of Weng when Francis was less than a year old. In the background you can sorta see the old shack that I built for her when we first married. What a story!


ThinkMusic Live Amazing Worldwide Performance

Hello Again Readers,

Last night I posted a song that I found to be really something. It was forwarded by a friend but the link was not so good so I am trying it again. It is a recording made by a lot of musicians 'real time' in different locations around the world - all linked by headphone! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

YIkes! Yikes! Yikes! I Think Its All Good

Good Morning Readers,

Please excuse any new 'pop up ads' or other strange activities that you may encounter while reading my blog! I am not prepared to give up on AdSense by any means - Weng and I have crafted a, hopefully, reasonable appeal to the AdSense Team. Included in our appeal is an offer to send to them, at our expense, our laptop so that they may examine it. While I believe that we have been victimized by some sort of internet monster I do not believe that Google disabled our accounts without some sort of reason! I have read dozens of horror appeal stories to every successful one on the subject over the last week and have developed this notion - 'It is, after all, their business'. I am hopeful that both Weng and I will soon be reinstated.

While dealing with this issue I have found that there are alternatives in the online Ad world that can act to supplement AdSense and I have decided to try a few of these out on my blog. One is called AdBright, another is InfoLinks. I'm really not sure how they work yet but it should be fun finding out! These services all have rules about what a publisher (like me) can say and do and that is fair. I think I can tell you that there will be new ads appearing in boxs and that they should look, like AdSense, different from the rest of my blog. You can be sure that I will not do anything that will pave a visual or audio trail to them - I am trying to keep my blog clean and easy to read!! If any of the new ads annoy you just comment and I will ask to have them changed.

Also, many words in my blog are now underlined. I think that they lead you to some sort of information on products but I am gun-shy to click them for fear I may violate some rules!

So, why are were bothering with the Ad thing at all? Several reasons really; a belief in a level playing field in the common market and the value of advertising your product to those who want to make an informed comparison before purchasing an item; the absolute need to change our advertising media - targeted electronic ads cost the seller only a fraction of printed material (not to mention the tremendous savings to our natural environment i.e. logging and its consequences); and, just as importantly, a tiny fee for bringing buyer and seller together that can grow with the popularity of a well written blog.

Accessing a well written, entertaining or informative blog costs you, the reader, nothing. Whether a blog reaches 5 people or a whole nation demands the same effort on the part of it's author.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Late Night Hello To The Philippines

Hello Late Night Readers,

I have noticed that I have been getting a few readers from different parts of the world. How cool is that? Thanks! I do appreciate you taking a part of your day to share my little world. Feel free to tell your friends to read about our different view of what many in the world consider to be the promised land.

Today has been record rainfall here in Portland, and it caused a change in my plans regarding necessary repair of the roof on our home. I should be finished with it tomorrow though. The pond filled with water in no time and most of the leaves were knocked out of the trees. A big change in the way things look in only one week.

I hope you are all comfortable this evening where ever you are.


Hey, Getting Better!

Hello Again Folks,

In my effort to present you with the 'easiest-on-the-eyes' to read blog I have changed things around a bit.

Poco a poco

Ps. Be sure to check out 'Read Francis' today and see how he plays hard ball with his Papa!

Figuring It All Out

Good Morning Readers,

Well, no one said it would be easy! As I learn more I realize I know less. Point in case being that I am still working on my blog format! For some reason I have yet to find a solution for the notorious "bX-....." error that creates the giant space in the middle of my blog. I am ignorant of html code generally but that is a lame excuse. Finding the time to educate myself in this mysterious world is the real reason...... I could start over again with a new 'template' but for now I beg your indulgence and ask that you simply scroll down through the void to find other things of interest! Today I am off to work out the final details on a 4 terrace hanging rock wall garden - a fun project and another feather in the cap.
Photos? Well, maybe, that depends on my old beater laptop!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Sick Leave

Hello Again Readers,

Well, the flu got us! Francis, Thomas and Kawena May came down with it. Then our laptop got it. Now I have it. Yikes. Yesterday was a big day - we put the new construction paper on the house to seal it up in preparation for the new (actually used but great condition salvage) clear cedar siding. Ladders and staple guns and lots of carbs were burnt. Almost finished the job when darkness set in. Last night the flu hit me and today I am writing from the comfort of my bed. Nothing like a forced day off! Weng is still strong and healthy but annoyed that she is having trouble attaching photos to her blog because she is using her old clunker machine. Not to worry though, attitudes are high and we are getting more excited every day as our Mexico blastoff date approaches.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Preparing For Mexico

Good Evening Friends,

It is an amazing dance that we find ourselves in about this time every year as we prepare for out trip south. Hundreds of connections and details. Tonight was a discussion of Thomas John's educational needs with his teacher at Bonny Slope Elementary. From reading Weng's blog you may be aware that Tommy is somewhat challenged in his reading skills. There is a lot to consider - will he fall further behind in his studies without the special help he receives here or will the life experience of living in a different culture be beneficial as it has in the past when he was younger? The answer is to be found in how effective we are at home schooling.

It is late and I had hoped to craft another chapter of The Road To Aticama but the laptop Weng and I use to do our blogs has become infected with some nasty monster that has resulted in the loss of both our AdSense features. We are now afraid to use it at all because it may give up some of our personal information to the monsters masters. Just as soon as we can work it out we are going to Apple machines. After all, it is what they use in elementary schools!


Monday, November 2, 2009

The Road To Aticama, Part 14, Fast Forward To My Life Changing Epiphany

Good Evening Friends,

Ever notice how you can never find a pencil when you need it? Then, when you find it, the lead is broken? Well, that is how it has been around here for the last few days, only on a modern level - Weng's computer has been seriously attacked by a virus just when we needed it most! Blogging about Francis's Birthday!

So, what does finding Aticama have to do with this event? Everything.

In the last chapter Michelle and Denise had hijacked me to the jungle waterfalls at El Cora. Lots more was to follow in the months to follow and here I must beg your indulgence while I fast forward 4 Mexican road trip months to a life changing event in my life. Having gone pyramid chasing for some time we decided to visit the beautiful Gulf Coast Port of Veracruz. What a town!! To the south of the city a grand river empties into the gulf and we decided to air up the Zodiac boat and go for a paddle off the coastline. Hot day. Calm seas when a really big 'sneaker wave' took us by surprise - tossing the zodiac end for end and dropping us all in the ocean. Not good for people like me who cant swim.
Fortunately, a month or so earlier we had met Jess and Kath, a young married couple from Europe touring Mexico. Jess just happened to be a life guard. He saw us take the deep six and was in the water in a flash, swimming like a madman to save us. And he did. The bandages on my right hand were tangled up in the guylines and the zodiac brought me up like a cork. On the way up, while underwater, I saw Michelle being sucked out to deep water. Next thing I knew Jess was there pulling her up to safety.

Back on the beach we were all there, except for my glasses. I was blind without them. Rats. Jess took 3 or 4 dives to look, but they were gone.

Back in those days it was not possible to get glasses in an hour in the USA, let alone Mexico. I was told that it would be 7 to 10 working days so we rented a hotel room near the central plaza and became fish soup tourists. All of the restaurants offered fresh fish soup every afternoon with the purchase of beer. And we drank lots. And lots. And danced with wild abandon and youth.

And then it happened. Around day 6 or so, at sunset, with me seeing double from too much drink, I took a walk to clear my head and found myself in a small corner of a rose garden, sitting on a very old stone bench. Shortly a very old Mexican man shuffled over and sat down. He was blind. We talked about fish. And women. Then, out of the blue, he asked "So, where are your children?"

I started to answer when a bolt of clear warm light blasted clean through me, I could feel the earth turn and I started to cry......

to be continued


Birthday Things For Francis

Good Evening Readers,

Today is Francis's Birthday! I took off of work early to go to OnPoint, our local credit union to get details for opening up Francis's first Savings Account. All his. Then I drove home, popped him in the old Mazda p-up and off we went. He was all grins as we were seated by Elizabeth. 30 minutes later Francis made his first deposit!! Next we went to the market so that he could select his own cake! Yikes! Out of time, I got to get back for dinner...

I have loads of stuff to post later, so stay tuned.


Be Sure To Check Out The Traditional Mexican Happy Birthday song in todays ThinkMusic

Dia De Los Muertos - Francis's 13th Birthday

Good Morning Friends,

I am a happy man. Our first child, Francis Emiliano Zapata was born on this day 13 years ago on the Mexican Day Of The Dead. Not an induced birth - just a natural, old fashion beginning! My side of the family has a tradition of having two middle names, and, as Weng and I had fallen in love with the culture and had decided to name him after the famous Mexican Revolutionary War Hero - Emiliano Zapata.


In a word - Vision.


I will be making several postings on this important day so check back this evening!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Small Computer Problems

Hello Everyone,

Am experiencing some small computer problems. A Big Blogging is coming tomorrow. A bit long, it is about the birthday of our son Francis....... should be a good one!!