Monday, April 30, 2007

A gold ring with sapphires for free !

In his days, Howard Hughes was one of the richest men in the USA.
His wealth had come to him from his father who had redesigned an oil drill head that could go through rocks like a knife through butter.

Before Howard Hughes became reclusive he was interested to meet girls.
For this he had Johnny Meyer.
Johnny’s job was to scout Los Angeles for girls Howard Hughes might like and bring them to him.

This is how Ava Gardner got in touch with Howard Hughes.
At the time, the mid-40’s, while a barbaric world wide war was going on, Ava Gardner was the daughter of a poor landless farmer from North Carolina.
Having good looks, on the initiative of a photographer, she had come to Los Angeles hoping to find work in the movie business .
However, she was a nobody and only one of the many starlets around.
But Johnny Meyer spotted her and established contact between her and Howard Hughes.

Howard Hughes liked her.
Probably was even in love with her later.

After having dated her for some time one day he proposed her to go with him to San Francisco.
Ava Gardner said yes.
Howard Hughes booked first class tickets on the Santa Fe train with two sleeping cabins and the best service available.

Ava Gardner had decided to be at her chicest and brought the best and most expensive clothes she had.
When she went to the bar car for dinner, Howard Hughes had arranged that a magnificent black waiter in an impeccable smart uniform brought her a large box in which was a bottle of the finest vintage champagne.

In San Francisco they stayed in the famous Fairmont Hotel on top of the Nob Hill.

Ava Gardner was in a suit with a magnificent drawing room, a bedroom and a bathroom while Howard Hughes stayed in a small room nearby.

Howard Hughes proposed Ava Gardner to go shopping and they went to the best department store in town holding all the goodies in the universe.
Howard Hughes told Ava Gardner: “Now, I want you to go in there and buy whatever you want. I’ll come back and pay for it. Whatever you want. Remember that !”

Back at the hotel Ava Gardner dressed in her chic cocktail dress ready for dinner.
But before to go Howard Hughes offered her an exquisitely made gold ring set with sapphires, which she accepted.

They went to a wonderful restaurant and later were closely dancing in a club with a marvellous band.

Finally returned to the hotel, Ava Gardner picked up in the lobby the Sunday newspaper and took out the page with the funnies.
She started to read them already in the elevator going up to the suite.
Where more chilled champagne was waiting for what obviously Howard Hughes had in mind as the grand finale.
But Ava Gardner just sat on the bed reading the funnies.
She had never felt romantically involved nor physically attracted to Howard Hughes.

Howard Hughes got upset and tore the page with the funnies out of her hands and threw it on the floor.
Ava Gardner was outraged.
For in her opinion, it had been a marvellous night and now Howard Hughes was spoiling it with one rude, dramatic gesture.
She stood up, ran to her bedroom, banged the door and locked it.

In other words, Ava Gardner was a bitch.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Together forever

One of the books published is called “Vista”.

It contains conceptual photography made in Baja California in the 90’s.
One of the images is made of the palm tree that dominated the dry riverbed in which the rancho of the Gonzales family is located.

For the more than 25 years the Gonzales family was visited, there always was this palm tree.

What made this palm tree extra special was that inside the crown, among the leaves, was the home of a pair of “quelelé’s”.
“Quelelé’s” are birds.
They have black and white feathers and are scavengers.
Very proud and domineering animals: other birds like to get out of their way for them.

“Quelelé’s” live in couples.
They bond and stay together all their lives.
Breeding every Spring.

It was always a great joy to see again the Punta Boca del Salado “quelelé’s”.
To see them fly to and from the palm tree.
To see them get off spring.
They were housed in this palm tree for over 10 years.

But last year was this devastating hurricane and the centre hit exactly at Punta Boca del Salado.
There was not too much damage except that the famous palm tree of Punta Boca del Salado was broken in two.

It was blown into two pieces.

An end to an era but also the end of the home for our “quelelé’s”.

How the “quelelé’s” did it is a mystery, but they managed to survive the hurricane, like many other birds.
Somehow they found protection somewhere for the devastating high winds of over 150 kilometres (93 miles) per hour and the extreme rainfall.

These days the pair of “quelelé’s”, around here for such a long time, can be seen sitting on top of the broken palm tree.

Unable to build a new nest on the broken top of the palm tree they selected another palm tree next to Alfredo’s house.
But often they return to where they used to live.


"Vista" was published by FOCUS Publishers.
ISBN number: 9-789072-216779


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Do not read this posting.

This posting must begin with a warning.
It will be about a rather disgusting subject.
About something we don’t wish to talk about.
A taboo.
A subject that maybe several loyal and fervent blog readers will be highly embarrassed about.

If you are about to eat something, it is strongly suggested to return for reading this posting and seeing the pictures at a better moment in your life.
In case you are still innocent and pure, there is no better moment.

Make up your mind because from here on a most shocking and disgusting issue will be brought to our attention.

Do not send anonymous comments later full of accusations and complaints: you have been warned.
It is your own responsibility from now on.

The Lazy Daze motor home was equipped with a Dometic Sealand toilet.
Having a wooden seat, a China ceramic bowl and a separate flush shower.
A very convenient toilet and comfortable too.
A pleasure to use and sit on.

When in the planning stage of the Fuso Santek it was mentioned to have exactly the same Dometic Sealand toilet build into the expedition vehicle as was so successfully used in the Lazy Day motor home.

At this point in time it is impossible to analyse why this suggestion has not been followed up: building a custom-made expedition vehicle is a complex process.
But instead of a Dometic Sealand toilet a Thetford toilet was installed.
At the time this was not considered as something of any importance.
OK, the Thetford had a plastic seat, not a wooden one like the Sealand, but it did have a ceramic bowl and a separate flush shower.

However, having used the Thetford toilet for some time now, besides the flush shower leaking, a major, fundamental flaw has been experienced with this toilet.

It is very delicate to have to explain this flaw and because probably never anyone did, the problem has never been faced and solved.

Let’s say that Thetford toilets are made for women.
Not for men.
This has to do with the shape of the bowl.

More in detail now and there is still the opportunity to quit reading and tend to watering your geraniums.

Men come in different sizes.
Let’s say, to simplify, in S, M, X and XL.
It is a simple matter of logic that if a man has a height making him fall into category X and up, his body parts are equally sized.
Like his fingers.
An X or XL man most likely has long fingers.
Now when discussing Thetford’s toilet bowl we are not focusing on fingers of course.
But focusing on another body part of a man playing a role in the activity when a Thetford toilet bowl is needed.

The issue is that to the water already present in the Thetford toilet bowl the two ingredients are added inherent to a bathroom visit.
Because the exit of the Thetford bowl is closed off, we see a mixture of liquids and submarines congregate down there.
In case you are still there, we know that it is logic that the liquid level has therefore been rising considerably.
And because of the shape of the Thetford toilet bowl, the level reaches a height where the part of the X, XL or European man is hanging down.
The liquid and the X or XL part actually touch.

This is an awfully bad thing, very loyal and fervent blog readers.
To begin with, it is not exactly a pleasant feeling.
To the contrary, it is disgusting to feel X or XL bathing in that liquid.
But more important, it is threatening the health of the whole family.
Easily, in this way, an infection can occur.
Vicious bacteria finding a home in X or XL and in case of the man having a happy life, transmitting it to the females among us.

It is all because of the shape of the bowl.
Don’t put a cruise ship in a swimming pool.
Thetford should have designed the bowl in a way that where X or XL is positioned enough space is available.
Like the folks of Sealand have been understanding so well.
So the toilet is usable not only for the girls but for the big boys also.

In a few weeks the Fuso Santek will return to Santek Trailers in Riverside, California, USA.
Several issues will be corrected and this is one of them.
No matter what the costs and who will take responsibility for it, the Thetford toilet must go.

Now the pictures which tell it all!

The Dometic Sealand toilet and notice the design of the bowl.
Deep and roomy at the front where it matters:

The Thetford toilet bowl.
A nightmare for the European men and X or XL Americans.

The Thetford as mounted in the Fuso Santek

More deeper into the Thetford bowl.
Notice there is already some water there, partly responsible for the high level later.

This is before any submarines entered the waters.
Imagine how high the liquid level will rise when they join in!

Wrong shape.
Disastrous consequences.

Having come to the end of this posting, conclusion is that you are not only a loyal and fervent blog reader, but very brave as well.


This posting was not sponsored by Dometic nor Thetford.

To learn more about Dometic products, click on

To learn more about Thetford products, click on


Friday, April 27, 2007

No Johnny, no.

Have a look at this picture:

You may say, I recognize that face. It looks familiar.
Have a look again.

Aah, the bell is ringing. It is John Edwards, the politician.

This is correct. It is John Edwards, the politician.
But look more closely.

What we see is a man who had a haircut that was costing $ 400.

It is true, John Edwards is also a politician.
A Democrat.
The Senator from North-Carolina and he has put himself in the race to try to become the next President of the United States.

But most revealing about John Edwards is that he decided to have a haircut costing $ 400.
That is pretty extravagant but OK, everybody can be as extreme as one likes as long as nobody else becomes a victim of it.
But what makes this haircut extra special is that John Edwards believed it was appropriate to pay the hairdresser with money from his campaign fund.
Money from people who donated to the campaign fund based on John Edwards’s political ideas and ambitions.

John Edwards has some good ideas for when he might become the new President of the United States.
Check out his website.
We could say: “Go, Johnnie, go!”
But the $ 400 haircut makes us say: “No, Johnnie, no!”
Go back home and take care of your wife.
Go back to North Carolina and take care of the people you are supposed to represent.

Why be so outspoken about John Edwards?

The US Census Bureau.
This United States Government office releases figures about the American population.
We must remember that these figures are official and objective.
According to the US Census Bureau’s latest figures, 36 million people in the United States live below the poverty line.
This includes 13 million children.

According to the Bread for the World Institute 3.5 percent of U.S. households experience hunger.
Some people in these households frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day.
These are a stunning 9.6 million people, including 3 million children, in one of the richest countries in the world.

To be a politician is to be a representative of the people.
To be a politician is to be in solidarity with all the people.
The rich and the poor.
As long as in John Edwards own country 3 million children are not getting enough food, as long as in John Edwards country 36 million people live below the poverty line, it is simply not appropriate to have extravagant $ 400 haircuts.
You can have a haircut for $ 20 and not tell the difference.
And be modest and in solidarity with 36 million people.
John Edwards should know this having been the former Director of the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina.

Ghandi, the Indian politician, would not take food one day a week just to make himself remember what a large part of the Indian population was going through.

A politician is not entitled to a privileged life.
But most choose to live in a reality of exclusivity once they have power distancing themselves of the people who elected them.
John Edwards demonstrated he is that kind of politician.

If a politician decides it is OK to use donated money for an election campaign to have a haircut costing $ 400, something fundamental is wrong in the thinking of that politician.
A politician should have the gut feeling that this is never OK.
Maybe in a banana republic, but not in a democratic country.
It shows that the morality of John Edwards is flawed.
If he thinks this was OK, imagine what will be OK when he becomes the new President.

When John Edwards was confronted with his extravagancy and dishonesty, he responded by saying: “That was a mistake, which we remedied”.
A typical answer of a politician.
It says nothing.
Except this: “I am trying to get away with this without harm to my reputation and ambitions for power”.
That it was a mistake to foot the extravagant bill with campaign money is not true.
It was a demonstration of an objectionable mentality and a flawed morality.
The true John Edwards revealed.
So he tries to downplay it.
A little mistake and let’s move on.
That’s why he suggests it can be remedied.
Not by him, but by “we”, whoever those "we" are.
Like a dirty spot on the table can be cleaned.
But the remedy of maybe re-paying the election fund $ 400 from his own pocket, doesn’t take away the fact that he makes dirty spots.

Most people who live in a balanced way will laugh if a hairdresser charges $ 400 for a haircut.
“Go take a walk, Mr. Figaro. You are a joker!”.
Nothing can justify such a price for a man’s haircut except pretentiousness.
Living in utter vanity and feelings of extreme self-importance makes one believe $ 400 is a justified price to cut the hair.
That is sick.
Something wrong in the head.
Such a person should never represent people but must see a psychiatrist.

Kurt Vonnegut is one of the most important American authors and thinkers of the 20th century.
He recently passed away.
In his memoirs, called “From A Man Without a Country: A Memoir of Life in George W Bush's America.”, he calls politicians like John Edwards “PP’s”.
“PP’s” stand for psychopathic personalities.
The medical term for smart, personable people who have no
John Edwards has indicated he is a PP and it is good we know this at this early stage of the election campaign.
PP’s like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have been demonstrating how disastrous and devastating they were and still are.

Chuck Berry sang:

“Go go
Go Johnny go”

But we sing:

“No no
No Johnny no”


The memoirs of Kurt Vonnegut called “From A Man Without a Country: A Memoir of Life in George W Bush's America.” can be found by clicking on:

The website of John Edwards can be found by clicking on:

The website of the United States Census Bureau can be found by clicking on:

The report on hunger in the United States of the Bread for the World Intsitute can be found by clicking on:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

------------for you------------

The sun rises.

A new day.

The sun goes down.

A new night.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Yesterday friend Stan came by.
Stan is Professor Stanislaw Ludicrosko from the University of Sarajewo in Bosnia Herzegowina and he has a world reputation for his accomplishments in the studies of brain wave patterns in animals.
In his sophisticated laboratory in King Franz Ferdinand Street in Sarajewo he recently invented and developed the AMR.
As many fervent and loyal blog readers will know, AMR stands for Animal Mind Reader and is a device with which the electric pulses occurring in the brain of animals when they are thinking can be received with the help of a complicated antenna.
Next, in a mobile module these electric pulses are processed.

Stan, Professor Stanislaw Ludicrosko, had brought the latest prototype to Punta Boca del Salado and having animals here around it was an excellent opportunity to test the AMR. The Animal Mind Reader.

The device consists of a large box in which all the electronica and the energy source to operate the AMR.
In here is also the housed the modulators, transformers and the inverters.

The way it works, in terms we are able to understand, is that the electric impulses occurring in an animal head are received by the special antenna and through a cable guided into the module box where the electric impulses are inverted and transformed into English.

One of the most intelligent horses Gumaro is having goes by the name of Bombillo and this smart animal was put to the test.
He was safely and relaxed in his corral and together with Stan, Professor Stanislaw Ludicrosko, the module box and the antenna was put within the field around Bombillo where his electric pulses from his brain could reach the special antenna.

After 5 minutes, inside the module box the results of the interesting experiment were found.
It could be read what Bombillo had been thinking and it is a privilege to share this information with all loyal and fervent blog readers.
This is the text generated; what the horse Bombillo was thinking:

“ Who are those people ?
That tall and skinny one I have seen here before but that smaller, exotic one with the beard is new to me.
And what is their intention holding this umbrella near my head ?
To keep the flies away or what ?
Better they bring me some hay.
Anyway, it is about time they also take me for a ride into the mountains.
It is 5 days now I am wasting my life here in this bloody corral.”

Pretty amazing stuff, isn’t it ?

Next, it was believed to be extremely interesting to test the AMR, the Animal Mind Reader, on Tonkey.
Tonkey is Gumaro’s dog.
A bulldog of some sort.
He is rather peculiar because his front legs have no idea what his back legs are doing.
When Tonkey is walking or running, it is a demonstration of total lack of coordination and it is a miracle he is even able to get somewhere.

Anyway, Tonkey was lured towards the AMR.

The module was switched on and this is what came out of Tonkey:

“G;ohfgooif l.jhf .kjh 8345hiof kjsdh 233BC R.KJH ;H F ,H FXJKJGXELIUWEGX hgfkj qkjfcg;a jhc ,qjhgf qlhg lhgf liu ,g lg rqfg hj lqeuyrgf ,nbbg b kjhbvk .kj vhbbv aj bk gfvbfhbkjb vkf kjg,j lg vh “
You, as a fervent and loyal blog reader, may agree with Tonkey but Professor Stanislaw Ludicrosko declared he still had some work to do sophisticating the inverter for bulldogs.

This posting was not sponsored by the University of Sarajewo.

To learn more about the important work of Professor Stanislaw Ludicrosko, click on:

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


When travelling in an RV it is opportune to think about what to carry and take along.

When living in a house, having buying power and Home Depot and Wal-Mart around the corner, anything considered needed can be instantly purchased.
To be used maybe infrequently but there is always the garage to keep it in.
And when the garage starts to fill up, we organise a garage sale next Saturday.

Most people are not aware what exactly they have.
How many different objects they have collected around themselves in the house.
This is a strange phenomenon: to have for no good reasons.
To own while it has no purpose.
And we should wonder what this does to a person.
To constantly purchase objects which are not really needed and to own them.

One of the consequences of materialism, because this what it is called, is that it makes the person figuratively speaking more heavy.
Unable to liberate from ties to take off into spirituality.

This is an old wisdom.
For centuries it has been understood that “to materially have” stops from “to spiritually receive”.
Therefore, monks for example, were promising to live without material possessions to be able to concentrate on praying and meditating.
To be there for God completely without having Wal-Mart interfering.

In this particular case, over the last 10 years this process of de-materialisation has been experienced.
To unattach.
All material possessions prior to living permanently in an expedition vehicle have been either sold or have been offered as gifts to family and friends.
Currently, everything in possession is in the Fuso Santek.
Except for the huge photo-archive and the collection of paintings being elsewhere.

What is in possession is known.
Every object in the Fuso Santek because all together it is not much.
Just the necessary.
This gives a wonderful feeling of being unattached.
Free of having, owning and carrying stuff in life of no importance.

At the same time, cargo space in an expedition vehicle is limited.
And every kilo (2.2 pounds) carried makes the expedition vehicle heavier consequently having more wear and tear on the truck and higher fuel consumption.
The Fuso Santek is promoting the concept of being free as much as possible of earthly goods.

In the Fuso Santek is a large box in which the collection of CD’s with music from all around the world.
Taking much space and rather heavy.

The idea was born to get rid of this volume and weight.
This was made easy because the company Apple makes a device called the iPod.
It is not much more than a hard disk but very cleverly made for easy use and it works very well together with an Apple computer.
This particular iPod, the 80 GB model, has so much storage capacity it can easily keep on its hard disk the content of hundreds of CD’s.

It only takes many hours to do this.
Because a CD must first be imported in the program iTunes after which it can be transferred to the iPod.

This normally goes smoothly.
However, when in a general database the CD is not known and the titles and names have to be filled manually, it is an ordeal.
To activate a field takes much time.
It needs the patience of a monk.

Another issue is that in the past with the software Toast Titanium’s Spin Doctor albums on music cassettes were transferred to CD’s.
These CD’s play perfectly on an Apple computer and any CD-player but it is impossible to import these CD’s in iTune.
And therefore impossible to transfer them to the iPod.
Somewhere in the process of importing, often after it is almost done, iTunes crashes and a forced stop is required with nothing imported as the final result.
There might be fervent and loyal blog readers who have knowledge about this and could recommend a method to get those CD’s on the iPod anyway.

Meanwhile Lluvia, one of the most beautiful girls in Mexico, has been informed that she and her sisters and brother will soon receive as a gift the box with hundreds of CD’s now almost all on the iPod.


This posting was not sponsored by Apple Inc.

To learn more about iPods, iBooks and iTunes, click on:

Monday, April 23, 2007

God is a DJ

Let’s meet Ismael Gonzales.
The happy 23 year old son of Gumaro and Ketcha Gonzales living on Rancho Boca del Salado in Baja California, Mexico.

Ismael is the one who trucks water to the houses of the Americans living in the vicinity of the rancho.
In a former posting on this blog it has been explained the influx of Americans in this desert area and their need for water.
Taking their life style with them to Mexico, these Americans need about 333 litter (88 gallons) of water per day per person.
An enormous amount but this is what is needed when taking baths, showers, watering the plants and trees, filling the swimming pool, using the washing machine, the dishwasher and flushing the toilet.

This 333 litter (88 gallons) per day per American is based on the record Ismael is keeping of his transports of water.
Two persons living in one house request two transports per month.
Ismael’s truck takes 10.000 litres (2.650 gallons) at a cost to the customer of 400 Pesos (36,50 $).

This truck for the transport of water the Gonzales family bought 8 months ago.
The one they had before gave up.
Because the roads are unpaved, cars and trucks pay a heavy toll negotiating the potholes and washboard-ribbed surface.
The truck they have now, second hand, was costing them 12.000 $ and they pay for it in monthly instalments.

Ismael makes about 6 trips a day, 7 days a week.
He fills the tank of the truck from the well with a pump and drives to the house of the customer.

The pump lasts for only about 8 months.
Then they need to buy a new one costing 1.000 $.

Ismael is not getting a salary or any other payment for his daily work.
The family is an economic community.
The customers pay Ismael, each of them pays correctly and in time, and Ismael gives the money to his father.
Whatever Ismael needs, his parents buy for him.
He says: “ My father’s money is my money as well”.

Ismael is a very modest chap.
He sleeps outside under a palm leaves roof.

Ismael is never complaining.
Never whining.
Always doing his work without protesting.
Always happy and smiling.

It’s like Ismael heard PINK singing her famous song:

“If God is a DJ
Life is a dance floor
Love is the rhythm
You are the music
If God is a DJ
Life is a dance floor
You get what you're given
It's all how you use it”.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

How to fix problems.

Living and working in an expedition vehicle and travelling with it all the time is like a dream come true.
But especially in the beginning, it is also a process of getting to know each other.
Some things are as was envisioned.
Other things are completely different.
Most things work.
Some don’t.

It makes one think of the relationships in life.

Many of the fervent and loyal blog readers may have seen the 1965 classic film made by Norman Jewison called “The Cincinatti Kid” with Steve McQueen.
This film is based on the true-life story of a poker player.
Richard Jessup.
This professional poker player eventually settled down in the beautiful village of Cadaques in Spain, just like this photographer did and they became friends.

The retired poker player was living with his wife Jessy in a beautiful house overlooking the bay of Cadaques and often parties were organised there.
One of those parties was on September 10, 2003.

It was a lunch with excellent food, plenty of wine and sunshine.

Immediately after arriving at the party this remarkable person was spotted and soon a conversation was started which lasted for over a year.

Her name was Jacqueline, a stunning blonde from the UK who after having not very successfully worked as a fashion designer in Milan, Italy, was now living in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where working as a decorative artist.

Her mother had a small apartment in Cadaques explaining the presence of Jacqueline in the jet set village.

Soon Jacqueline told that her father had died and had been the English Ambassador to the Soviet Union and Greece.
That made her a girl with international experience and a wide horizon.
The rest of her time in Cadaques was spent together.
Getting to know each other making long walks into the mountains and having dinners.

After she left, some time later, a message was received with an invitation to come and join her in Sao Paolo.
Dear friends advised against going.
They had experienced Jacqueline and believed she was crazy.
She was, in their opinion, cold, heartless and without emotions.
Stay away from her because you are going to get hurt otherwise, they said.
But a person in love is blinded.
Can’t see things as they are.
Has drowned in subjectivity.

Jacqueline lived in a fabulous apartment overlooking a park in Sao Paolo, in the upper-class neighbourhood of Higienópolis.
It was wonderful to see her again but she kept her distance.
The guest was allocated a bedroom and she slept on a mattress in the living room.
She would never touch, never show affection, and never be warm and cosy.
It was thought this was just a stage she had to go through.
That in time she would change and let all her reservations go.
But it got nowhere.
And eventually there was no more hope.
It was decided the best was to return to Cadaques, stop the suffering and leave her.

The night before departure, while having dinner in a Japanese restaurant, the truth was told.
That to experience her coldness, lack of emotions and human warmth was simply impossible to live with and that these were the reasons to leave.
She was terribly shocked.
Could not speak anymore.
She asked to stay but the weeks of having been like with a robot had been too devastating.

Returned to Cadaques gave the opportunity to calm down and again Jacqueline asked to come to Sao Paolo.
It was decided to go believing she would have reached now the stage of change.
While the dear friends were this time simply saying it was only a fool who would go.

Returned to Sao Paolo within a very short time total disappointment was experienced because in spite of all the subjective thoughts and positive predictions, nothing had changed.
She was still this cold and frigid woman unable to express any emotion.
Hope for change and at least a normal human and friendly relationship was given up.
By then enough stories were heard about her childhood explaining why she was so cold and without emotions.

The day after it was decided to make the daily walk not with her anymore but alone and close the bedroom door at night, she made her pass.
And we became a couple.

That was the beginning of a new set of problems but they were all considered as adjustments.
That time and love would smooth them out.

It was decided to spend the summer in Cadaques.
Living together in this beautiful house with glass floors and three terraces overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and Salvador Dali’s picturesque village of Cadaques.
Everything available for sweet romance and happiness.
But time and love were not exactly smoothing anything out at all.

It all came to a climax when Jacqueline stayed at home when down in the village a copy of the newspaper the Herald Tribune was bought and friends were met on the terrace of the Maritime, the seaside coffee shop.
Returning home one of the biggest surprises in life was experienced.
The beautiful house was decorated with many objects collected on the numerous trips made around the world.
Rugs from Mexico, statues and masks from Africa, shells from beaches worldwide, Shaman objects from the Amazon rainforest, jewellery from the Far East, temple items from Japan.
Also many gifts from friends made all around the world.
Hundreds of things giving the house a special atmosphere and bringing back dear memories of wonderful people and exciting adventures.
Opening the door of the house, entering the rooms, what was seen stunned, shocked and embarrassed.
All the so beloved objects from the journeys had been removed.
They were found on a pile on one of the terraces.
It was unbelievable.

Jacqueline was confronted and asked for an explanation.
She was casual about it.
“All those things were only collecting dust so it is better to get rid of them”.

The house had a guest apartment with a separate entrance.
Jacqueline was given the key to the guest apartment and escorted out of the house and life.

The thing with a Fuso Santek is that it might have a problem.
Even a serious one.
But what is so nice about it is that it can be fixed.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Getting thirsty.

It is a beautiful location where the Gonzales family is living.
Next to the Sea of Cortez with its sandy beaches.
When this area was visited more than 25 years ago, only Mexicans like the Gonzales were living here.
But in the meantime, all the land close to the Sea of Cortez has been bought by Americans to build their holiday houses.

This has resulted in having two worlds here at the east coast of the peninsula Baja California.
One is the traditional world of the local Mexicans, living with families on farms making a meagre living as cattle ranchers.
The other world is made up of wealthy Americans who are here simply to enjoy themselves.

They are two separate worlds.
In general they are not socialising at all.

One reason is the language.
Very few Mexicans speak English and very few Americans speak Spanish.

Another reason is the culture and tradition.
The culture and tradition of the Americans, all wealthy, white, mostly conservative, from the corporate world, is very specific.
The culture and tradition of the Mexicans living here for over 100 years is very specific as well.
In fact, the Mexicans and Americans do not have much in common.
But they manage to live in a relative peace and simply do not bother much with each other.

However, what could become a major problem with this strong influx of Americans coming to live here is the environmental impact.
Nature as it is here, cannot support large concentrations of human beings.
Especially not when they come wishing to keep the life style they were having where they were coming from.

For example, there is the issue of water.
Basically it is a desert here.
The local Mexicans have adapted to this situation from the beginning.
They only established settlements where there was water and they use it economically.

The Americans have a different approach.
They see a beautiful location and decide to build there.
No water?
We truck it in!
Very entrepreneurial.
But Americans need a lot of water and energy the way they choose to live.

In their holiday houses the Americans have build bathrooms like they have at home.
With showers, baths and flush toilets.
Using enormous amounts of water in a place where there is no water.

Because they like palm trees, which do not grow here because of lack of water, the Americans have full-grown palm trees brought in on large trucks.
They plant those palm trees around their houses and next these trees need to be watered every day.
A palm tree needs about 50 litres (13 gallons) of water per day…

Although their houses are close to the beach and the sea, which is often calm and warm enough to swim in, they like to have their own swimming pools.
Swimming pools needing lots of water and chemicals.

These Americans can live here and in their wasteful ways thanks to the Gonzales.
As it happens, the Gonzales are having a water well.
The only one in the wide vicinity.
A water well until now seeming to have an endless supply of water.

The Gonzales are now in the business of trucking water to the houses of the Americans.
Son Ismaël is responsible for this job.
With a gasoline-powered pump he fills from the rancho well a truck able to carry 10.000 litres (2.650 gallons) of water.
This he delivers to the houses of the Americans charging 400 to 600 Pesos. (36 to 54 US Dollars) per truckload.
An extremely low price and it is obvious this situation will not continue for a long time.

More and more Americans building here and coming to live, needing excessive amounts of water, the price will go up considerably and the well may not be able to produce much more amounts of water.
Now, there are days Ismaël makes 4 to 6 trips a day, pumping over 50.000 litres (13.000 gallons) of good drinking water from their well.

There is already talk among the Americans to prepare for the near future by purchasing desalination plants.
For about 40.000 US Dollars a plant can be bought serving several houses.
However, a desalination plant needs lots of electric energy for which a generator will be used.
More waste of fuel, more pollution.

To become more modest and to become more in balance with nature, as the local Mexicans demonstrate, does not come into the minds of the Americans wishing to live here.

Look for example at this place about a 15 minutes walk from the Gonzales Rancho.
Recently sold for 9 millions Dollars.
And that price includes a swimming pool but not the water.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hunting hard

Punta Boca del Salado in Baja California, Mexico, has been visited for 27 years and in all those years never has a phenomenon been witnessed as this year.

The last couple of years fishing from the beach was not an interesting activity at Punta Boca del Salado.
There were no sardines feeding near the beach and consequently no larger fish coming after them.
And the fisherman is interested in these large preying animals.
Jack Crevalles, sierras, cabrillas, and roncadores.
Fishing was standing on the beach being an idiot.

This year though, already since the winter months, sardines are there in abundance.
Millions and millions of them and staying.

There are two theories to explain this exceptional situation.
First is that the temperature of the seawater is rising and this has a positive effect on the breeding of sardines in this part of the world.
Second theory is that last September, the biggest hurricane ever has hit Punta Boca del Salado.
Huge amounts of water have been falling from the sky and were dumped by the rivers into the sea.
This means that where a river exits into the sea, with the rainwater large amounts of sand was dumped into the sea.
In this sand are minerals and other particles sardines and other small sea creatures are feeding on.

Whatever the reason for the many sardines, they are there and this has also initiated an explosion in the amounts of pelicans.
Never before so many pelicans have been flocking the beach of Punta Boca del Salado.

For the fisherman this is not exactly a blessing.
Pelicans like to wait until large predator fish come after the sardines forcing them to go close to the beach and the surface.
This makes it easier for the pelicans to catch the sardines.
But the fisherman waits for the same thing.
He can catch a large predator fish when coming close to the beach but when there are so many pelicans easily his line or even is hook can catch unintentionally a pelican.
If this happens, fisherman has big trouble.

Some fishermen cut their line and the particular pelican lives with a fish-lure in his feathers that might not be very favourable for his health and well-being.
Other fishermen pull the pelican to the beach, throw a sweater on top of the by now aggressive animal having a mean sharp beak, and try to pull off the fish lure to return the pelican to freedom.

But best is to try to catch fish away from the pelicans, which is paradoxical.
Where the pelicans are, are the fish.
But even paradoxes can be stretched like fishing close to where the pelicans are hunting.
In the end, the pelicans have the most rights to have it their way because they depend completely on the sardines.

As usual, this morning at around six, before the sun rises above the horizon and the wind picks up, the fish could welcome the fisherman.

Fishing, in this case, is not performed as a form of entertainment.
That is considered unacceptable.
Any entertainment resulting in killing an animal is rejected.
Like bull fighting in Spain is barbaric and should be banned.
As well as rich Europeans and Americans who pay huge sums of money to go and kill an elephant in Africa.
Fishing at Punta Boca del Salado is performed for the Gonzales family.
To supply them with the necessary proteins.
Because normally they have a diet low on proteins as a consequence of their economical situation.

This morning a large Jack Crevalle was caught.
About 8 kilos (18 pounds).

A Jack Crevalle is not considered a premium fish for eating.
Its meat is red and not as soft as for example a tuna.
But the Gonzales will eat it anyway.
They make “machaca” of it.
Fish stew.
With onions, peppers and in a slightly hot sauce.

There are about 11 people now at the rancho and there is enough “machaca” for each of them.
Buen provecho! (Good appetite).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

No more power.

Contrary to what CNN-Weather is saying, the sky above Punta Boca del Salado, and most probably all over the Southern part of Baja California, Mexico, is overcast.
The strong winds of the last days have died down and nature is quiet and silent.

This has repercussions for the people who rely on solar energy as their main supply of electricity.
The Fuso Santek however is equipped with 550 watts of solar energy panels and having 6 batteries.
It has always been believed that this would be sufficient for the energy needs.
That even on days that the output of the panels would be low due to absence of sunshine, the relative moderate consumption of electricity would be supported anyway.

Yesterday, while having worked most of the morning on blog text and business communications, the electrical system of the Fuso Santek refused to invert anymore.
No more 12 volt was inverted to 110 volt.
Disabling the Datastorm system and access to the Internet.

The monitor of the Magnum Energy System, with which the Fuso Santek is equipped, was checked and it was read that the disconnecting had occurred due to low battery voltage.
This is a build in safety feature of the Magnum Energy System.
If one would use too much electricity, the voltage of the batteries might get so low that it will fatally damage the batteries.
However, it was puzzling that the batteries had reached such a low level of power: electricity was not used excessively.

It was a most disturbing situation.
The inverter not working anymore and therefore having lost the option of accessing the Internet.

However, the little sunshine there was made the voltage of the batteries go up and when they reached over 12 volt it was expected the red fault light would go off, the message of low voltage of the batteries disappear and inverting would be possible again.
To return to the urgent business waiting on the Internet.

The voltage went up from 12 volt to 12,1 volt, to 12,2 volt, to 12,3 volt, to 12,4 volt and still nothing changed in the status.
It was then realized that the Magnum Energy System might maybe have developed a problem.
Might be malfunctioning.
A shocking realization out in the boondocks and so dependent on Internet.
To be unable to communicate.
To talk to family, friends and business contacts through SKYPE.
To be unable to receive and send e-mails.
Research and visit websites.
And of course publish the daily blog having to disappoint all the loyal and fervent blogreaders. It was a hair-raising and most disturbing thought.

A smart plan was cooked up to use a small inverter of 150 watts on board the Fuso Santek and plug this into the cigarette lighter of the Mitsubishi Fuso truck and use an extension cord to get the 110 volts to the Datastorm equipment.
This could be done harmlessly because in the end, the Heliotrope Solar System is sending 5 amps to the truck batteries.

In circumstances of dramatic technical problems it is also not a bad idea to consult instruction manuals.
Santek Trailers included in the Fuso Santek a large book in which all the manuals of the different appliances.
The Magnum Energy System came without any manuals, which is unforgivable, but Santek Trailers was so smart to download them from Magnum’s website and print them.
In the manual somewhere it was found that the inverter stops working indeed when the battery voltage gets too low.
It can even be set at which voltage this needs to happen.
Next, the manual explained, the “Fault”-status will stop once the batteries reach a voltage of 12,5.
Because the sun was simply too weak to be able to boost the voltage of the batteries to that level, the diesel engine of the Mitsubishi Fuso was started.
The truck has an alternator producing 30 amps and does also load the 6 RV-batteries.

Tremendous was the joy when the voltage was seen going up, reaching 12,5 volts and seeing the “Fault”-light go off.
Inverting was possible again and therefore access to the Internet.

It felt like a pretty disastrous and disappointing situation passed by very close.

Still, there was puzzlement about how all this could have happened.
How can 6 solar panels with an output of 550 watts and 6 batteries not be able to manage one morning of cloudy skies with moderate use of electricity?

Suddenly a flash of geniality.
An idea dropped in the mind like Einstein himself threw it.
Could it not be that when the inverter was switched on, to operate the Datastorm system, that the refrigerator was switching from propane to electricity as well?

This was checked right away with the pride of being super smart and the air of being a real expert.
And guess what, loyal and fervent blog readers, when the inverter is switched on the fridge switches to 110 volt as well.
We must realize that the Dometic RM 2820 fridge installed in the Fuso Santek, uses 2,7 amps and research made while developing the Fuso Santek has learned that a fridge uses this amount 50 % of the time.

It became clear that since starting to use the Fuso Santek, each time the inverter was activated to go on the Internet, the fridge started to use important amounts of electricity as well.
We may wonder why Santek Trailers wired the expedition vehicle in this way.

The temporary solution is simple: the fridge is permanently set on propane and won’t switch to electricity anymore.
However, the “auto”-function of the fridge, automatically switching to the energy source available, is of no use because of the way the fridge is connected.
Next month, the Fuso Santek will return to Santek Trailers in Riverside, California, and it will be one of the things to correct.

Today are clouds again.
Right now, at 7.55 am, the solar panels have an output of 5,5 amps.
The inverter and XM radio use 2 amps.
All is well again on board the Fuso Santek.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Walking the dangerous dog.

At around noon it is time for lunch.
Each day what is being eaten for lunch is the same.
Two slices of toasted whole grain bread with 0% fat margarine and exotic cheese.
And two slices of toasted whole grain bread with low sugar raspberry jam.
Accompanied by a glass of V8 vegetable drink diluted with 50 % of purified water.
Finishing the lunch with an apple.

After the lunch a thorough brushing of the teeth is performed rinsing with Listerine and next a highlight of the day is coming up.
The daily siesta.
Next to the Fuso Santek is a camping bed and it is there that the siesta takes place.
In the sunshine shaded from the wind.

The interesting part of the siesta is to observe how the mind step by step starts to dysfunction.
The thoughts are becoming illogical.
Making no more sense.
It is like being on a LSD trip.

Magically, each day, after exactly half an hour, the sleep of the siesta stops.
Never the siesta takes longer and this is not by the own will.
Somehow a clock inside decides that half an hour will do.

After the siesta, the daily walk on the beach.
For more than an hour.

Yesterday it was contemplated, inspired by the tragic barking and whaling of Gorba seeing Alfredo leave on his horse again, why not take Gorba on the daily post-siesta walks?
He could be on a leash because if he was free, he might see a herd of goats in the dunes and take off to go and kill one.
Being in a rage no way he would listen to any instruction of remaining on the side of the master.

It was also considered that maybe life would get more tragic for the dog being allowed to come on a walk.
Inconsequence would enter his life and it would become illogic.
He would think that being chained to the tree was not a permanent state anymore.
And start even barking and whaling more.
But then it was thought that if he were to come on the daily walk each day at the same time, he would understand soon the scheme of things.

A good and strong rope was found, Gorba attached and off to the beach.

Fortunately his pulling was not too bad: he has learned from the chain that it hurts to just run into freedom when limited by a rope.

However, Gorba has become a bad dog.
These days there are many pelicans on the beach and cruising on the sea near the land.
Gorba is interested in only one thing: to catch a pelican and kill it.
He is obsessed by this idea.
Constantly trying to go after the pelicans.
Of course he has no chance whatsoever, unless a pelican is wounded and unable to fly sitting vulnerably on the beach.
This occurs and it has been seen how Gorba would attack the majestic bird and bite it to death with the obsession of a maniac.

But it is believed that even bad dogs are entitled to a walk on the beach.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A beautiful horse.

Yesterday the unimaginable phenomenon happened of loosing one’s mind.
Of dumping it into the toolbox to get it out only when playing a game of chess.
Controlling the mind by serious meditations and physical exercises.

Immediate result was to become aware of reality in a totally different way.
Suddenly the beauty was observed of everything surrounding.
No thoughts about pollution, mass tourism, ecological disasters, climate change and the ending war in Iraq came to mind because there simply was no mind.

What was observed was the beauty of the flowers.
The eternity of the sea.
The deep blue of the sky.
The comfort of the warm temperature.
The birds singing in the trees.
The wind gently touching the tanned skin.
The body moving in unison with the universal constellation of harmony.

And a long meditative moment was spend in front of this gorgeous horse.

What a horse!
What a fabulous animal!!
Look at the warm brown colour of his fur.
The noble line of his neck.
The strong legs.
The attentive ears.
The playful tail and mane.
The peaceful eyes and their looking into eternity.
The majesty the horse is expressing by just being there as he is.

But then the mind spoiled it all by asking: “Why is one of his legs so short?”

Monday, April 16, 2007

Killing somebody

He doesn’t exactly remember how he killed her.
But he knows he did.
And he knows he has hidden her body under the floor in the basement.

He lives with all the other people around him and nobody knows he killed her.
Nobody can even see he killed her.
He keeps it his personal secret.

They are all friendly with him while he thinks that if they knew he was a murderer they would treat him much differently.

He has this constant fear that they will discover the body of the woman he murdered.
And that an investigation might lead to him.
That they will find out it was him who killed her and buried her under the floor of the basement.

In his mind he goes over all the details of the murder to check if there might be a clue for investigators to discover it was he.
He is very worried about that.
He is not sure the traces are not going to show it was he.
Not sure he did not make any mistake committing the crime.

So he lives with this constant knowledge that he killed a person.
And he lives in this constant fear they might find out.
The hardest though is to be who people think he is while he knows he is different.

We all have dreams.
And someone who pays attentions to the dreams comes to realize that some dreams recur.
For reasons not always understood specific dreams repeat themselves over time.

The dream of knowing to have killed someone while nobody else is aware of the crime and having to live in fear that the cadaver might be discovered, is a very common dream.
Many people have this dream.
Even some of the fervent and loyal blog readers might recognize this dream and become aware they are not the only ones experiencing this nightmare-like dream.

What is the meaning of this dream?
Why would someone dream to have killed a person in such a realistic way that when waking up for some time it is actually believed the crime has been committed?

There are people who specialise to explain dreams.
Many books have been written what dreams mean.
The explanation for this particular dream, having killed someone, a dream very common with human beings, can easily be found in books and even on the Internet.
But explanations of dreams are equal to religion: you have to believe in it.
For explanations of dreams or religion are no scientific and rational proves.

Therefore a better conclusion is to think that dreams are simply a game of our mind.
The mind playing with us.
The mind, such an expert in making us feel afraid for nothing, making us feel insecure when there are no reasons for it, making us feel disturbed, out of balance, complicating things in our lives, unsettling us and often making us feel inferior.
Any time spend looking for an adequate explanation of a dream makes the mind enjoy its game with us even more.

It is about time we put the mind in its right place.
In a spot where it cannot disturb us anymore.
It can serve us all right, like when we play a game of chess, but besides that it must remain in the toolbox.
Down with the mind!
Let it join Gorba and be chained to the tree as well!!

There is only one way to keep the mind in its proper place.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A life without problems

Numerous responses were received of fervent and loyal female blog readers expressing gratitude for the beautiful flowers they were offered yesterday.
But also several messages of fervent and loyal male blog readers asking what was in it for them.

It is not really possible yet in our societies to offer flowers to gentlemen, except on their graves, therefore to keep balance and peace among the fervent and loyal blog readers today is a special presentation for the gentlemen.

It is a picture of Alfredo.
He was clearing the bushes around the rancho and got hit by a branch.
We remember that Alfredo is the official owner of the chained dog Gorba.

Today’s blog presents two technical aspects of the Fuso Santek.

In a RV we need electricity.
This can come in two ways.
From the batteries or from a city hook-up.
Therefore each RV is equipped with a charger.
This instrument changes the 110-volt to 12 volt to charge the RV batteries.
Often we also need an inverter.
This is an instrument changing 12 volt into 110 volts.
This we use to operate appliances in the RV running on 110 volt but having as a source the 12-volt batteries.

The Fuso Santek is equipped with a Magnum Energy ME 2512 inverter/charger.
Installed in one of the cargo areas of the Fuso Santek.

This instrument is specially designed for rugged RV usage and has a 3-year warranty.
It is very sophisticated and has many options and features.

The control panel of the Magnum Energy ME 2512 inverter/charger

The options liked are that when using the inverter one may run the batteries down too low damaging them fatally.
The Magnum Energy ME 2512 has a build in protection method stopping inverting in case the voltage of the batteries gets too low.
Another nice feature is the “Battery Saver”-mode when charging the batteries.
It maintains the batteries without overcharging thus preventing excessive loss of water in flooded batteries
And it checks the temperature of the batteries to control charging according to that measurement.

The second technical aspect of the Fuso Santek presented today is the Heliotrope HPV-30DR Solar Charge Controller.

This device controls the output of electricity coming from the six solar panels on the roof of the Fuso Santek.
This Heliotrope HPV-30DR Solar Charge Controller can handle up to 600 watts solar power and because the six solar panels of the Fuso Santek have a maximum output of 550 watts, the Heliotrope HPV-30DR Solar Charge Controller is up to the job.

The control panel of the Heliotrope HPV-30DR Solar Charge Controller.

There are three stages of charging the batteries and two boosting methods.
And what really neat is that the Heliotrope HPV-30DR Solar Charge Controller sends 5 amps to the batteries of the truck keeping them in good shape.
Very important when camped in one spot for a long time.

One of the starting points designing the Fuso Santek was to keep things as simple as possible.
One of the main purposes of travelling in a Fuso Santek and living a nomadic life as a pioneering photographer is to not being occupied by technical issues arising from the expedition vehicle.
Breakdowns, malfunctioning and complications are in the end not interesting but most of all, keeping time, energy and attention away from what is truly vital.
It can never be forgotten what is vital: to continue unobtrusively with the inner growing process through being creative in images and words.

Quality products like the Magnum Energy ME 2512 inverter/charger and the Heliotrope HPV-30DR Solar Charge Controller therefore fit perfectly in this philosophy: they do their work without needing any attention.

This posting was not sponsored by Magnum Energy or Heliotrope.

To learn more about the Magnum Energy ME 2512 inverter/charger, click on

To learn more about the HPV-30DR Solar Charge Controller, click on