Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the forever love forever

Let's have a cozy chat today about unconditional love.

Between two people there can be love.
And as we know love is abstract as it concerns feelings and magic.
Nevertheless, we know of a specific love that is called "unconditional love".

This "unconditional love" we find in the troves of the family.
Where in principle a mother and a father love in an unconditional way their children.
No matter what happens, the child is loved.
True, there are exceptions of parents who are so self obsessed and disturbed they have left this level of humanism and can love only money or themselves.
But in general every Daddy loves his son and every Mommy loves her daughter.

But even between cousins this miracle exists.
Because they are bonded by family links, having the same grandparents, they unconditionally love each other as cousin Jerzek in Poland constantly proves.

Between two persons, not related by blood, love can arise and flourish too, as we all have experienced hopefully.
But the fact is that this is not unconditional.
It is not necessarily forever and ever.
Till Kingdom comes.
But it might.
It could last a lifetime.
And by then the point is made: the love was unconditional.

Therefore love between two persons unrelated is very magical.
It is not automatic like it is with family.
It is a constant miracle.
A gift that is received every day and night.
And if it is celebrated and honored and respected and worked on and enjoyed it might eventually turn out to be unconditional.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spiraling in of control

Years ago a project was started to collect stones in the dry river bed at Punta Boca del Salado, Baja California, Mexico and use them to build an object next to the location where the Fuso Szulc is always parked.

The pile of stones was growing and growing and turned out to be a large boat.
Although many people claimed it was a whale.
While most could not see anything reasonable in the whole thing.

Until the Queen of Dreams came.
She made the suggestion to use the stones to build a huge spiral.
And that is what has happened.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Warming wings

This morning a large vulture bird had landed on the pole Gumaro had planted on the beach to train his horses.

The sun coming up from the Sea of Cortez, the large bird in silhouette made a majestic image.

And then the magical thing happened.
The resting bird did spread his wings to warm them in the rising sun.

The Nikon D300 with the 400 mm lens was quickly fetched to make this image:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A family reunion

A special day at the rancho of the Gonzales family at Punta Boca del Salado in Mexico.
All the brothers and sisters are coming together at the location where they were born and raised.
Even the sister that lives in the USA.

For this occasion a cow and some chicken are killed for the big dinner in the afternoon.

With the brothers and sisters most of their children have come as well.

The pioneering photographer is invited to join the party and runs over there soon to publish the pictures here later.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The wind or the thief

In Mexico City a remarkable thing can be seen on the roof of apartment buildings.
There are large cages.
One for every household in the building.

Inside these cages people hang their laundry to dry.

The thought that came to mind was that these cages were used to avoid that the neighbors would steal the clothes.
But the Queen of Dreams had another theory.
According to her the clothes are in a cage to prevent them from being blown away from the roof.

Two ways of looking at something.
One based on expecting bad things from people.
One based on being more positive about people.

In the end it doesn't matter what is the true purpose of those cages on the roofs of the apartment buildings in Mexico City.
A visitor sees them, makes an interpretation and eventually leaves town.
However, the interpretation decides partially how one feels while visiting.

To see things in a positive way is more likely to offer a happy time visiting a city compared to seeing things from a darker angle.

These conversations with the Queen of Dreams are so educational.
By opening up for her way of thinking and feeling, often a new perspective can be adopted that is more positive and beautiful.

The wind or the thief.
The Queen of Dreams comes to relief.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

The flow for the fearless

A dinner with a friend in the nice neighborhood of Portalis in Mexico City.

She told that several of her friends have been kidnapped.
An activity frequently occurring in Mexico City.

One friend was kidnapped but returned home safely after one week.
The parents had paid 70.000 Mexican Pesos as ransom: about $ 7,000 or € 4.500.

This is more or less the current rate for kidnapping.
It is stressful, traumatizing and scaring but one cannot say it is very expensive.

A taxi returned the pioneering photographer back from the Portalis area to the Novotel hotel in the Santa Fe area.
A one hour taxi ride.

The taxi had no meter and a price was agreed beforehand of 140 Mexican Pesos.
$ 14.00 or € 9,00

The whole ride a conversation took place.
Taxi driver telling he had two jobs.
Besides driving the taxi, he was also employed in an office for the Government.
All in all working seven days a week and never having holidays.
To make enough money to make his three kids finish university.
He was asked if his children were not most appreciating of Daddy's efforts.
Working his butts off for them to be able to study and to get a decent job later.
No, he said in a rather swamped voice.
They are not appreciating my sacrifices, he admitted: my children take my hard working for granted.

Once arrived at the hotel he was offered a more than generous tip.
Instructed that it was for him and his wife, not for his unthankful kids.

Walking into the lobby of the hotel, the concierge approached with a paper in his hand.
He explained that the taxi ride to the airport the next day would be much cheaper as it would not be billed through the hotel.

This is true traveling.
You give a big tip to one person and another person gives you money back.
Being in the flow.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In the pit

Landing in Mexico City is plunging into a thick layer of pollution.
It is scaring to see how bad the air is and to realize that soon it will enter the lungs.

But once landed the pollution cannot be seen anymore.
Although the air smells bad and dirty.

Traffic is intense and hectic.
Still old diesel powered buses can be seen producing enormous quantities of exhaust fumes.
And one must make very sure not to want to move around during peak hours.
That is for example in the Santa Fé area from 5 to 11 pm.
Six hours in the evening of bad traffic jams.
Every day.

A room is rented in the Novotel Mexico Santa Fe hotel.
A tariff list behind the reception says a single room costs $ 265.
But through Orbitz one pays not more than $ 115.

The room is very ok.
Large and well equipped.
But one may wonder why the free wifi to access the internet is from the stone age.
Ultra low speed and often failing completely.
Amazing flaw for a modern hotel.

And unfortunately, outside, right in front of the room, a deep pit where a new building is being constructed.
Forcing the guest due to extreme noise to request a room on the other side of the hotel.

Santa Fé is the business area of Mexico City.
And is therefore well developed.
Looking like a modern town with high rising office buildings.
And conveniences like a Starbucks, a decent Japanese restaurant and a 7/11.
But soon a visitor notices that outside all the buildings men with earphones in black costumes are standing.
Security people.
Who immediately come into action when the visitor wishes to make pictures for example of a building called "La Lavadora" (the washing machine).
That is not allowed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Get rity

Passports have the tendency to expire.
And need to be renewed.

These days new passports are sophisticated.
Containing an integrated image, fingerprints, bar codes, chips, robots, coffeemakers and skis.
Anything to fight terrorism.

To obtain a new passport when abroad, the obeying citizen needs to go to the Embassy.
In this case, that bastion of the Netherlands is located in Mexico City.

Hence, Mexican airline company Interjet carries the almost passport-less traveller from Los Cabos, Baja California to Mexico City today.
Where tomorrow all the documents will be filled in and signed at the Embassy of the Netherlands to obtain the new passport.

Next, it takes two weeks before the passport is ready as it is printed and personalized in the Netherlands.
It will be delivered by courier in La Paz, Baja California to avoid having to go to Mexico City again.

Because it is a costly affair.
Flying, hotel and passport fees amount to over $ 600.

But to get a valid passport is essential.
Otherwise one cannot travel or legally ID oneself.

To enter this bureaucracy is against the own nature though.
To have to go to Mexico City, to have to spend over $ 600, to have to leave the Queen of Dreams for two days and two nights behind is painful and creating a feeling of being in a pool of nonsense.

This is why immediately other appointments in Mexico City were made.
To make the most of the trip.
So the main purpose of the journey shifts and is spread over different activities.

Mexico City: get rity !

Monday, March 22, 2010

Complete living

A man lives in an apartment in a building.
A simple flat.
A small living-room, a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom.
Just enough for a simple and easy life.

Because of tragic circumstances his sister becomes homeless.
And moves in with the man in the small flat.

Now there are two people living in the small living room.
Using the bathroom and the kitchen.
The woman sleeps in the bedroom and the man on the couch in the living room.

This goes relatively well.
Of course the man has lost his privacy now that his sister is around.
And he has to make several compromises to be able to live in peace with the sister.
But OK, he is helping out his sister and she is doing her best too.

Until one day the brother of the two occupants of the small flat knocks on the door.
He is in terrible circumstances and needs instantly a place to stay.
The brother and sister have no other option but to take in the stranded brother.
Now there are three people in the small living-room.
The sister still in the bedroom and the two men sleeping on the couch and one on an inflatable mattress on the floor of the living-room.
Three people now using the bathroom, when it is available, and cooking in the kitchen.

In a very short time the privacy of the original occupant of the apartment has reduced drastically.
And each one has to make tremendous compromises to have some kind of harmony in the flat.

Soon there are conflicts.
These three people simply live together in a space too small.
Irritations are born, arguing starts to take place and eventually, although they are close family members of each other, they are hating and fighting.

Eventually the man who owns the apartment just leaves.
It is impossible to live with two more people there.
That is not a life.

How different it is when someone is in the heart.
When a person comes to open the heart to let someone in.
In that situation it is felt that the more the other person is coming into the heart, the more elating it feels.
It is not a matter of sharing the existing space.
It is discovered that the heart is flexible.
It can expand and grow and become more vast to house the one who has come to be there.

And contrary to overcrowding in a house, the more the presence of the one in the heart is felt, the more happy it makes.
The heart expands infinitely and the emotions grow and flourish.

It is even so that a heart can have many who are there.
A heart is never full.
When a baby is born, it is immediately in the hearts of the ones involved.
Nobody is ever refused because a heart is full.

A person that lives alone in an apartment is not having problems how to use the available space and amenities.
And many prefer this way of living.
To be alone in the house
But to live with a heart that is closed, to be alone in the heart, is incomplete living.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Seven years of war

It is seven years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and no end in sight.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched therefore Friday through Washington's streets going to the White House.

Shouting and saying:

"Arrest that war criminal!" (refers to Barack Obama)

"The honeymoon is over with that war criminal in the White House"

"He's kept Guantanamo open, he's continued to use indefinite detention.
The only real difference is that Obama's speeches are better."

"President Obama, we love you but we need to tell you: Your hands are getting bloody!!
Stop it now."

"If there were a draft, we'd have a million people out here demonstrating"

"Iraq veterans against the war."

"We've essentially become a country of restrictions rather than a country of freedoms."

"The country is broke, this war is a joke."

"Bread not bombs."

"People are getting used to the war, and don't bother even to think about it anymore."

"We want all the troops wherever they are to come back."


Saturday, March 20, 2010

A day and days

Miguel Gonzales in February 1995

Miguel Gonzales in March 2010


Friday, March 19, 2010

Spiral of violence

The subject of having the right to own a gun and to have the right to decide about life and death stirs the emotions and several comments have been received and published.

Including one newspaper clipping of a recent story of three young guys who burglarized a house in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, USA.
Boys of 18 and 17 years old equipped with a knife and a machete.
Who selected a house on an isolated road where a woman and her 11-year old daughter were living.
The woman, Kimberley Cates, was stabbed to death in her bed and her daughter seriously injured.
The 17 year old Steven Spader is accused of hitting the woman with the machete.

One can conclude from this story that it is a wise thing to have a gun in the house.
To say that if the unfortunate woman in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, USA would have had a gun, she could have killed the three boys and saved her life.

Although this presumption is very hypothetical and another version could be made that even having a gun would not have been very helpful, there is another side to the story.

Let's have a look at those boys.
A 17 year old boy who goes with two young friends armed with a knife and a machete to a house that is on an isolated road obviously with the intent to make amok.
How is such an idea and such a plan coming up in the head of a 17 year old?
In what context is he living that this is in his head and in those of the two others, as a viable plan to do?

One thing that is known of these boys is that they were in the possession of marijuana.
They were users of soft drugs.

That gives us revealing conclusions:

1/ There is marijuana available in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, USA: also for under 18 years old boys.

2/The boys had money to buy the stuff.

3/The parents have sons that are on dope: the parents have tolerated this or their relationships with their sons were such that they didn't know.

But more can be said of the context of these boys.

What prospects do they have currently in the USA?
The banks were allowed to wreck the economy.
The politicians made the USA virtually bankrupt.
Non-employment and therefore job opportunities are very low.
In what perspective do these boys live?
To make a decent living?
To have a career?
To have affordable health care?
Is their future looking positive or negative?

And what do these boys see when they watch TV?
Cage fighting for example.
It is allowed to show on TV in the USA men that fight barehanded and are allowed to almost do anything to the other to incapacitate.
It is very violent, cruel, degrading and animal like.
This is though the entertainment offered and tolerated by the authorities.

And what do these boys see in the movie theatre?
Many of the films show excessive violence.
An average film show many people killed in most cruel ways.
Violence is offered as entertainment and fun.

And what do these boys play as games on their computers?
Being a fighter equipped with an arsenal of weapons scoring points for each opponent killed.
Computer games played for hours and hours and what does that do to the brains and thinking of young boys?

What kind of society is that in which these boys grow up then?
Can we not expect that in such a context for sure a certain percentage of people lose balance and become as animal like as what is projected on them?

And is the solution then to buy a gun to defend your home?
Isn't the USA caught in a spiral of violence?
Instead of working together to create a better and more peaceful society?


Thursday, March 18, 2010

A family affair

Yesterday the posting ended in this way:

A burglar gets into a house to steal.
The house owner wakes up, grabs his gun and kills the intruder.
Now the house and gun owner lives knowing he has killed a man.
How will that feel?

The posting received several comments.

One of them anonymous: the person commenting decided not to make himself or herself known.
Not the most courageous attitude possible.

The comment was this:

"It would feel great. Besides, the intruder was there to torture, rape and murder your family. And take your DVD."

Imagine a burglar gets into a house to steal.
The house owner wakes up, grabs his gun and kills the intruder.
The question then is: how does the house owner know that the intention of the burglar was to also torture, rape and murder the whole family?
It is too late to ask this to the burglar: he is already killed.
Therefore, it is a presumption of the house owner.
A presumption that is come up with to justify the act of killing.
What if the burglar had no intention whatsoever to do anything else but robbing the family of their DVD-player?
Then someone was killed for the wrong reasons.
Leaving one dead.
But also having among us a killer.

The fundamental question is whether we want to live in a society where each individual is allowed to be a judge.
Whether we want a society where decisions about life and death, about respecting laws and punishment, are left exclusively to the judicial powers or not.

If a society allows simple citizens to also be part of the judicial system, a kind of wild west is tolerated.
To posses weapons and the use of them is then a result.

A man returns home late at night.
His brother wakes up of the noise and believes it is a burglar.
He grabs his gun, goes downstairs, sees a shadow moving around in the living room and shoots the intruder.
His own brother.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A life is a DVD-player

Recently a conversation with an American friend.
Who made a blunt statement when talking about having guns.
He said that if a burglar enters his garage to steal, he wouldn't mind.
But if that burglar enters his house, he would shoot him.

The friend is probably not the only American who has the opinion that the right to have a gun and to use it to defend property is a fundamental right.
Including the right to decide about life and death of another human being if for example that person wants to steal the DVD-player.

This idea to have the right to carry a gun to defend oneself originates from the beginnings of the USA.
But we should ask ourselves if this did not get out of hands.

We may wonder for example if the weapons that are for sale these days in the USA are all designed for defending life and property.
If a catalogue of a weapon shop is studied, one sees many weapons not to defend but to make war.

Another vital issue is that to have the right to posses guns to defend life and property is not as Thomas Jefferson envisaged it.
He said:

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government"
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334.

Clearly he states that the weapons one is to have are to protect against the tyranny in government.
Not against the DVD-player thief.

And check what George Washington had to say about this matter:

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
-- George Washington

His concept that a society where firearms are anywhere and everywhere, paints a militaristic state.
Where people keep themselves in control through fear, violence and killing.
Washington's is a barbaric way of thinking falsely supposing that evil interference can be neutralized and stopped by firearms.
"All that is good" is never thinking in terms of firearms, and conflict solving through brute violence.
A society is likely to be harmonious and peaceful without that anywhere and everywhere are firearms.

A burglar gets into a house to steal.
The house owner wakes up, grabs his gun and kills the intruder.
Now the house and gun owner lives knowing he has killed a man.
How will that feel?


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From thinking to feeling.

From single to dual.
One effect is that on the body now scratches magically have appeared.
And that the space inside the Fuso Szulc has been halved.
But the major effect is the enlarging of the heart that is growing into a volume never experienced before.
Filled with beauty, bliss, harmony, peace, care, solidarity, concern and affection.

But also the sea contained two souls as if paradise can exist.
Floating on the waves with a bright sun in a blue sky.

This amount of happiness can be scaring.
It is of such a purity and intensity that the thinking comes up with the concept of guilt.
And fear and a sense that it is not deserved.
That such an extreme state can only come at a price.

But that is the thinking.
Moving into negative territory and into a time that is not.
While the feelings, totally in the here and now, are content and enjoying.
Entering every moment so deep there is no tomorrow.

From single to dual is from thinking to feeling.


Monday, March 15, 2010

From single to dual

This is the fifth effort this morning to try to write a posting.
It is impossible.
Every beginning goes nowhere and the resulting text is better deleted.

Reason is that an ultimate form of excitement is experienced.
Because today the one that is in the heart arrives.
Soon a journey to the airport starts to meet her there to bring her to Punta Boca del Salado.
Where life will be together again.

The mind therefore is unable to focus.
To come up with a good subject and to put that in a sense making story.

It is even so bad that the fingers get uncoordinated on the keyboard.
Because connection with the brain is lost.

That is occupied with major issues like: is it a good idea to bring flowers to the airport?
Or is it better not to offer flowers?
And if offering flowers is crucial, must they be dandelions or even roses?
Or maybe only one sunflower?
Or are flowers pathetic and will the waiting man in the arrival hall of the airport look like a fool standing there with flowers in his hand?
And will she burst out laughing?

And another vital issue: must deodorant be applied?
Or better not?
And if applying deodorant, in what quantity?
Or is the natural body smell more convincing?

You see, fervent and loyal blog reader, sometimes more important matters are to be focused on instead of writing a daily posting.

Or things to do are more important: now the interior of the camper needs to be thoroughly cleaned, fresh sheets put on the bed and clean towels in the bathroom.

It is going from single to dual and nothing gets in between.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flaps for flaps

The appearance of the Fuso Szulc is getting an upgrade these days.

The Mitsubishi Fuso FG truck was equipped with mud flaps.
Installed by the truck dealer in San Diego, California, USA.

On these mud flaps is the name and place of the truck dealer dominantly painted.
Therefore, driving the truck around is contributing to a publicity campaign.

That is all very well.
In the end a truck needs mud flaps.
And if the truck dealer delivers good service, why not allow them to use the truck to make some publicity?

However, the last experience with the truck dealer has been very bad.
Details do not matter anymore as the nightmare they caused and the financial siphoning of the customer are left behind as very unfortunate experiences.

As of then the mud flaps were always seen as inappropriate publicity.
Because if somebody asked for advice about this company, it would be negative.

Recently, new mud flaps were purchased for 300 Mexican Pesos ( 17 € / 24 $ ) that are now to replace the old ones.
They are black with red lettering.
Making publicity for a truck dealer in Tijuana, Mexico called "El Camionero".

The new mud flaps are bigger and therefore more effective.
And being black, they fit better aesthetically.

A happiness is felt for having the new mud flaps.
As this was an issue since the horror-like experience with the Mitsubishi truck dealer in San Diego.
But it is really behind now.
Like the mud flaps.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

A gliding visitor

It never happened before at this location.
In the dry river bed near the Sea of Cortez and the rancho of the Gonzales family at Punta Boca del Salado, Baja California, Mexico.
That a snake came by.

But yesterday a large, 2 meter long snake was in between the beach furniture.

On the other side of the Baja California peninsula, on the Pacific coast, at the location of El Triple where so much conceptual photography was created, snakes sometimes have been met.
Those were rattlesnakes.
Large ones that pose a threat.
Because if they manage to bite, being far away from a clinic with anti-serum, death is a realistic possibility.
Hence, in the past, whenever a large rattlesnake was spotted near the encampment of El Triple, the unfortunate animal was killed.
Throwing rocks at it to incapacitate it and next to chop off the head with a machete.
A cruel and animal unfriendly activity but only justification was that it was one of two options: either move away from the area and leave the snake its territory.
Or to kill it to be free of a possible new and mortal engagement.

Fortunately, for the last years time was spend at El Triple, no snakes were met.
And if they had been met, because of maturing, improving awareness and reaching more harmony in life, this business of killing snakes would not have been an option anymore.
It disappeared from the program of approaches to nature.
The same for fishing.
For years fishing was an activity to have a more protein rich menu.
Until it was realized how opposed the fish were to being caught.
How they resisted with everything they had to be landed on the beach to die by suffocation.
Once this awareness was prominent, all the fishing gear was donated to a member of the Gonzales family and never a fish has been caught anymore.

Therefore, when yesterday this large snake was spotted, no immediate thought came into the mind to kill the beautiful reptile.
It was yellow with black spots and had a rather small head.
No large fangs characteristic for poisonous snakes.
Immediately it was realized it was not poisonous and not aggressive.

In spite of the higher level of animal friendliness that has been reached, the idea to have snakes around close by still does not appeal very much.
That's why the snake was guided and escorted in a friendly way to an area a safe distance from the Fuso Szulc.
Where hunting grounds are happy for a snake also.

That evening Gumaro Gonzales received a report about the snake visiting the Fuso Szulc.
And he said it was a common snake around Punta Boca del Salado.
A friendly and beautiful snake.
Content to be still alive.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Huge Hughes problems

There are two major issues playing these days in the life of the pioneering photographer.

The one that is the most important concerns the Queen of Dreams but fervent and loyal blog readers will understand that certain things should be kept private.

The other issue is the Datastorm Hughes Satellite system that is installed in the Fuso Szulc.
An expensive system that allows to connect to a satellite with Motosat hardware and to get on the internet with Hughes software.

Unfortunately, this is the only system that is on the market, besides Starband, and more unfortunately is that it is full of flaws.

Resulting in customers unable to access the internet because of problems with their Datastorm Hughes Satellite system.

Although the Datastorm Hughes Satellite system has never been working in the Fuso Szulc without a problem, these days it is not working at all.
It has come up with a complete new flaw: it is unable to identify the satellites it finds.
Suddenly, out of the blue, this malfunctioning is occurring.
And why is a good question.

In the D3 controller of the Datastorm Hughes Satellite system is software that contains a list of coordinates of satellites.
When the system finds a satellite it is supposed to check the list, figure out what satellite has been found and calculate how to get to the satellite that it is assigned to.

But if the Datastorm Hughes Satellite system is unable to determine what satellite it has found, it will say that it was unable to identify the signal and will move on to a next satellite.
For hours and hours.

Of course the list with satellites has been reloaded into the D3.
To no avail.

By now, after years of trouble with the Datastorm Hughes Satellite system there is a fantasy.
To line up the technicians responsible for designing the Datastorm Hughes Satellite system.
To force them to undress.
To spray them with ice cold water.
And after this rather nice treatment compared to the frustration and aggravation they have caused thousands of customers, these technicians will be told that they get 15 minutes to solve the problem on board the Fuso Szulc.
If they are not successful they are deported to the island of Borneo to tend orangutans.

The cruel reality is that the orangutans on Borneo will never be taken care of by the technicians of the Datastorm Hughes Satellite system.
They are hiding behind having the monopoly and the ineffective laws for protecting customers in the USA.
They can get away with selling crap.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Left right

Arrived in a dry river bed north of Los Barilles in Baja California, Mexico.
To see friends who are staying there in their trailer.

About 40 other RV'ers are boondocking there also.
Some for months: it is for free.
They have build shacks and windscreens.
Use solar power and get water from town.
Their main activity is wind surfing.
And enjoying life.

Next to the arroyo is the Playa del Norte Trailer Park.
Where RV'ers can stay for $ 25 a night getting a decent and clean camping spot with electricity, water and a sewer connection.
This trailer park is hardly having any customers.

In most countries cars drive on the right side of the road.
Very convenient when you have to make a right turn.
In the United Kingdom though cars drive on the left side of the road.
Not to overtake another car like in most countries but permanently.
They all use the left lane for going somewhere.
Because they can't overtake on the next left lane, because there is no road there anymore, they overtake using the right lane.
This is when no other car comes their way.
But that is in most countries the same.
No overtaking takes place when another car is approaching.

In the nordic and Scandinavian country called Sweden they were also driving in the left lane.
All the cars all the time.
But they have changed that.
One day they told the drivers of the cars to move all to the right side and now they only use the left lane for overtaking.
This, also in Sweden, when no car is approaching.

The United Kingdom is not the only country in the world where cars drive in the left lane as if they were constantly overtaking.
But because all the cars do this nobody realizes they are in the wrong lane.

In the past the United Kingdom was a worldwide empire.
Because of their viciousness and imperialism they had colonies all over the world.
And the worst thing they did to those poor people living there was to tell them to drive on the left side of the road and to play cricket.
In the meantime the United Kingdom is far from an empire anymorem and their former colonies are now independent countries.
Although some of them still recognize the Queen of England as their head of state.
Grown up countries like Australia and Canada.
And they still play cricket and drive on the left side of the road that in fact is made to overtake another car.

But then we may wonder why there are countries that were never English colonies that nevertheless continue to make this mistake of driving in the wrong lane.
Take a country like Japan.
It is fair to say over there smart and clever people are living, right?
OK, they lost the war and this in a most painful way but to drive like the English?

The fervent and loyal blog readers are reminded that this is in a dry river bed north of Los Barilles in Baja California, Mexico.
Where a stop is made to see friends who are staying there in their trailer.
While about 40 other RV'ers are boondocking here.
A place producing a rather nonsense posting.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Boran and the Kible

It has been scientifically proven that there is no heaven and hell.
Therefore we can all sit back and relax now that we know that high above us there is no heaven and deep down under us there is no hell.

However, before we relax too much, there are two things we should never forget.
The two things called fear and greed.
That are not located somewhere out there in space.
Or deep underneath us.
They are located right inside ourselves.

And certain religions, long time ago, discovered fear and greed.
And used them as a way to control the people.
To fear the concept of hell was connected.
To greed the concept of heaven.

This is one of the reasons why a person with a well functioning mind will not take religions serious.
They are man made inventions to manipulate and to control.
Religions are not even close to God and Godliness.

Two days ago in a Café Exquisito coffeeshop in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, two well dressed young man were sitting at a table.
In between them they had a Bible.
One was teaching the other.
Asked: "What questions do you have in your life?"
The student replied: "Well, like, where do we come from, why do we live, what will happen to us eventually, that kind of thing".
This was a great opportunity for the Bible teacher.
"Where do we come from" ?
Go to chapter such and such on page 567 and read what Paul had to say about this.
"Why do we live"?
Go to chapter such and such on page 432 and read what Peter gives as an answer.
And so on.
Every question about life the ignorant and simplistic boy had, the answers were there in the Bible according to the teacher.

Therefore, the attention of the Bible teacher was requested.
He looked and listened and was first puzzled when he heard:
"Hey Mr. Bible teacher, do you realize that right now two guys are sitting in a tearoom in Karachi, Pakistan with in between them the Koran and one is, like you, explaining life to the other based on their holy book?"

To that question the bible teacher obviously had no answer: no chapter in his book with instructions about how to live was giving him an adequate answer.
His common sense though should have told him that it was true: religious fundamentalism and its brainwashing is happening all over the planet.
Based on different books but all with the same devastating effects.

The two men stood up, paid for their coffee and left.
They preferred to continue to believe in heaven and hell instead of recognizing and self-handle their fear and greed.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where does a bird spend the night?

When we see a bird, do we know where this bird has been spending the night ?

This is a question specially designed not to have an adequate answer.

Therefore, do not reply by saying: the bird was sleeping in the tree.
It is not an adequate and precise enough answer.
It is an answer to get the question out of the way.

We do not know if that bird actually was sleeping in a tree.
And if it did, we don't know which tree.
And if we know which tree, we don't know what branch.
Because we never see at night birds sleeping in the tree.
In any case, we see many more birds than we see nests in the trees.

So why come up with a question that has no adequate answer?
Because the purpose of the question is not to find an answer.
The purpose of the question is to meditate.

There are moments in the day when we have to wait or are by ourselves.
Time to reflect and think.
The perfect moment to ask yourself: where is a bird spending the night?
Stops you from worrying about paying taxes.
Or to think about the conflict you have with your neighbor.
Or the fear you feel for the visit to the oncologist tomorrow.

The thinking spins around the question and considers different answers without finding an absolute one.
In this way the mind is manipulated and put in a dead end street.
It is being made impotent and powerless.
It loses its ability to dominate and control our feelings and actions.

Ha, ha: we laugh at the thinking because we can be the master of it with asking a very simple question: where is the bird we see spending the night!

In this area where thinking is in a closed circle unable to move anywhere else, relief and even exaltation can be found.
Because one becomes finally free of the constant worrying and the frantic fantasizing in a negative way.

This method is not recently invented.
It is very old and practiced by Zen masters.

With who do Zen masters sleep at night?


Monday, March 8, 2010

Why worry for maybe nothing?

A fervent and loyal blog reader was sending this story published in the Calgary Herald in Canada:

Calgary man shot resisting attack in Mexican RV park.

By Jamie Komarnicki, Calgary HeraldMarch 6, 2010

A Calgary man vacationing in Mexico with his wife was shot after two gunmen stormed the couple's RV in the dead of night.
Yves Guay, 52, is recovering in a hospital after undergoing surgery Friday, said his wife, Sharon Guay, 53.
"The last 12 hours have been the most terrifying of my life," she said in a cellphone interview from Mazatlan.
The semi-retired couple have been spending their holidays at the Las Jaibas Trailer Park for the past six years, driving their RV from Calgary to Mazatlan, on the Pacific Coast.
Late Thursday night, they were awakened by a knock at their RV door. At first, they thought it was the police as the men apparently had a crest of some sort on their chest, Sharon said. But the men pushed open the door, their guns raised.
Yves managed to heave the first man out of the trailer. When he looked up, the second intruder had a gun pointed at his head, Sharon said.
"That's when I started screaming."
Yves lunged at the second man. As he was pushing him to the ground, a shot was fired, striking Yves.
Sharon slammed the RV door shut, turned on all the lights and started honking the horn for help. She thought her husband was dead.
Neighbours soon arrived and helped Yves, who had been shot through the upper part of his right leg, to the hospital. Heavily armed police arrived, but the suspects were long gone, she said.
Meanwhile, the guard on duty at the RV camp had been tied up and threatened, Sharon later learned.
Authorities have indicated to the Guays the violence is likely due to Mexico's escalating drug wars. Sharon says she feels as though she and her husband were targeted.
Although the family has vacationed for many years in Mexico, they no longer feel safe there, she said.
"After this experience I don't think I'll ever come back."
Back home, the couple's daughter, Natasha Phipps, learned the awful news her father had been shot.
The 27-year-old spent most of the day Friday keeping other family members informed about what happened.
Although she's worried for her parents' safety, she's also concerned about how this latest incident could impact Mexico's fragile tourism industry, which has been hit hard in recent years by a war between rival drug gangs and a number of violent incidents involving tourists.
"We had heard about these types of things going on . . . it was always like, if you weren't involved in that, you weren't endangered," Phipps said.
"With this happening, I think people are going to have a really different mindset."
Sharon says her husband will have to stay in the hospital for several more days to recover. They're making plans to fly back to Calgary, since the long drive would be too difficult for Yves.
She said she wants anyone else travelling to the area to be aware of the potential danger.

Last night was dinner in restaurant "La Costa" in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico with local resident and good friend Alonso Lopez and his beautiful partner Irma.
He was asked how is crime in La Paz.
Yes, Alonso said, there is crime here and it is worse than some years before.
For two reasons.
The city of La Paz is growing rapidly and many people come to live here from the mainland.
They have no special connection with the city yet and that makes some of these people go the way of crime to have an income.
The other reason is that economic times are very harsh on people.
Many are without a job while they have a family to feed.

But in La Paz crime has also become more extreme.
Last week at 2 am some guys enjoying a beer on a terrace on the Malecon, the boulevard along the sea, were approached by a man who got a gun out of his belt, shot one and tried to kill the others too.
And two weeks ago somewhere in La Paz two policemen were killed.

However, in daily life in La Paz, nothing can be noticed of any crime.
There is no special presence of policemen.
Everything goes its way in a relaxed and peaceful way.
Never anybody molests in the street.

Of course there is crime in Mexico.
And in certain areas it is real bad.
But in places like Mazatlan and La Paz, there is hardly any crime towards tourists.
In exceptional cases it happens and those events are published in newspapers in the USA, Canada and Europe.
The danger is that the case then is blown out of proportion.
That the rare incident is made as an example for supposedly massive crime anywhere in Mexico against all tourists.
However, one plane crashing doesn't mean that flying is dangerous.

Pay also attention how the incident is rather sensationalized by Canadian journalist Jamie Komarnicki and reported in a subjective way.
The whole story is based on talking to the couple and the daughter only.
No investigations were made on location in Mexico nor anybody there has been interviewed.
"Two gunmen stormed the couple's RV in the dead of night", Jamie Komarnicki writes as if it was a Hollywood film script.
While the story further on tells the two men politely knocked on the door first.

Good friend Alonso also said that the man in Mazatlan had applied a wrong strategy.
When two guys with a gun come to an RV to rob, the last thing to do is to fight them.
The policy is to open the door and welcome them in.
To offer them to take whatever they want.
What is the value of the stuff they possibly take compared to the value of a human being's life?


Sunday, March 7, 2010

How to have a ball

A custom made expedition vehicle is like a living thing.
It makes itself heard and wants to be taken care of as if it was a crying baby needing a diaper switch.

Some of the issues currently at hand.

The outdoor compartment doors were made by a company called Rexco in Ontario, California, USA.
This company has been visited when it turned out that when it is raining the water gets into the cargo compartments.
Yes, the manager at Rexco said, our doors are not rainproof.
What is even worse of these doors is that water gets inside the doors and make the aluminum rust.
Eventually, mainly on the bottom of the doors, large holes appear where the aluminum has pulverized.
Every person slightly knowledgeable and needing RV doors avoids a company like Rexco.
They make shitty doors.
These days good friend Xavier in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, who is an excellent mechanic, is fixing the doors.
Not a perfect solution but he removes all rotten aluminum, fills it up with silicone and then places a plastic plate on the outside of the door with in between tons of more silicone.

Another issue remains the Datastorm Hughesnet Satellite system.
In fact, this system has never been working as it should.
Nowadays, it will look for satellites, find one but next is unable to recognize what satellite it is.
Hence, it spins around, looks and looks, finds satellites, but is unable to know what is the assigned SatMex 5 satellite.
This can go on for hours.
It won't help to change settings in the controller, reloading the satlist or any other trick in the bag.
And there are many after years of flawfull operating.
And then, suddenly, out of the blue, after hours, it does find the correct satellite and connection is established.
But then new problems arise.
Like not passing a Transmit Pointing Test.
By now, it has become so bad, that no excitement is felt anymore when Motosat Hughesnet Satellite System is being enigmatic and uncooperative.
It has been accepted it is simply a rotten system and that no expectations are awarded, not even the ones created by the PR of Datastorm and Hughesnet in their advertisements.

And then this morning suddenly the Shurflo waterpump stopped working.
No clue yet what could be the reason.
According to the SeeLevel monitor there is still 22 % water in the tanks.

Some people like to deal with technical problems.
They approach those challenges as interesting little projects.
To analyze them, find the reasons for malfunctioning and to come up with a solution.
Those people are perfect for a custom made expedition vehicle.
They would have a ball most of the time.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Surviving in the city

After many weeks at the rancho of the Gonzales family out in the boondocks, suddenly life is in the city of La Paz.

At Punta Boca del Salado life is simple and natural.
With the Sea of Cortez on one side and long time friends on the other.
Pelicans patrolling the shore, whales coming up to breath and cows coming in from the mountains to drink water at the well.
The sun comes up and after some time the sun goes down.
The days seem uneventful.
And they are.
But that creates space to have in the spirit and the soul events happen.
To reflect, to meditate and to spiritually grow.
To use the peace and harmony of the location to become a little more complete.

In the city of La Paz life is not simple and not natural.
Compared to Punta Boca del Salado.
There are a million things going on around a visitor of the city.
Little events all asking attention.
Suddenly the capacity of absorbing impressions has to work at maximum level.
However, it is impossible to be aware of everything going on in a city with the consciousness that has been used in Punta Boca del Salado.
Too many impressions would tumble over each other in the consciousness all asking for attention eventually deeply confusing the innocent city-visitor.
Who then loses the inner centre and balance and will meet serious demons.

Hence, once in the city, a defense mechanism becomes active that starts to work as a filter.
A limit is placed on impressions allowed into the consciousness.
A terrible thing to do.
To deliberately lower the level of consciousness.
But one needs to survive in the melee of the city.
It makes no sense to get drunk, to buy useless things and have happy endings.
Empty activities nobody likes even to remember.

However, there is a trick to survive in a healthy way in the city.
This is to limit the amount of events to wish to become aware of.
But at the same time to focus on specific events and to give those the privilege to enter deep into the consciousness.
To be very selective.
To open for only one specific happening.
For only one specific person.
To have Punta Boca del Salado experiences in La Paz.


Friday, March 5, 2010

$ 5 a day

There is a worldwide economic crisis and today we will not go into how come this has happened.

What we will do is to have a closer observation what this economic crisis means for a country like Mexico.

Data comes from the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco), an official Mexican institution.

In just three years, the cost of primary foods in Mexico has risen 66.7 %.
For example, in 2006 it cost $ 67 to buy 42 items.
In 2009 those same 42 items cost more than a $ 100.
This is shocking because $ 100 represents 23.6 days of minimum wage.
A person earning the minimum wage in December 2006 worked 10.4 hours to buy 4 pounds of steak.
Three years later this worker has to spend 13 hours of work to buy his 4 pounds of steak.

In general, over the last two years, the purchasing power of Mexican workers has been fallen by 41 percent.

Currently the minimum wage ranges between $ 4.19 and $ 4.42 per 8-hour day depending on the area.
Making people suffer because prices of products such as corn, wheat flour, milk, soft drinks, crackers, eggs, sugar, beans, rice and soups have risen by as much as 50 % or more.

Other shocking movements on the economic front in Mexico are the prices of fuel.
In january 2010 the price of regular gasoline was increased with almost 20 %.
Diesel was increased almost 50 %.

When things go bad, the ones who were already in a disadvantageous position suffer the most.
They have to work for less than $ 5 a day and can't even buy the food the family needs.
This, if they are lucky to find a job.
In Mexico.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Shots in Starbucks

One of the delights when traveling in the United States is to go in the morning g to a Starbucks coffeeshop to have a café latté, a chocolate chip cookie and a New York Times newspaper.
This all costs a lot of money but it is worthwhile the treat.
But next time when the United States is visited more thought will be given whether to visit a Starbucks
The reason lies in the fact that in 43 of the 50 states of the United States it is allowed to openly carry a gun.
Many similar places like Starbucks do not allow customers to come into the shop with a gun on the hip.
But Starbucks recently agreed that in their coffeeshops it is no problem.
After having been put under pressure by a pro weapon lobby.
Members of which would go to a Starbucks with a revolver and legally challenge the coffeeshop.
Claiming that the law was on their side and Starbucks had to allow customers with weapons.
And now the pro weapon lobby i.c., is happy and satisfied.
You can have a coffee in Starbucks and use a gun if needed.

This decision of Starbucks to allow customers to carry a gun when coming in to the coffeeshop was in spite of protests from anti-weapon organizations like "The Brady Campaign" who delivered a petition to the headquarters of Starbucks with 28.000 signatures saying "Offer espresso shots, not gunshots".

But Starbucks says in a statement on their website:
"Were we to adopt a policy different from local laws allowing open carry, we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores, putting our partners in an unfair and potentially unsafe position."

The United States is one of the rare civilized and developed countries where it is a constitutional right to have a gun.
Or even to have a whole arsenal of guns.
And in 43 states out of 50 it is allowed to go around carrying a gun.
A device that can potentially damage the health and/or end the life of another human being.

The core of the matter that involves Starbucks these days is a simple question.
Why would anyone want to walk around carrying a gun?
What is the purpose of doing this?
Are there circumstances in the United States society that requires people to have a weapon with them?
Isn't it a civilized and developed nation then?
Aren't the days of the Wild West over?



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The USA heading for poverty

Senator Jim Bunning from Kentucky in the United States is said to get old.
And with age getting more difficult to reason with.

What has the old man done that he is seen as an old fool?

The US Government wants to spend $ 10 billion to maintain unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and to provide stopgap funding for highway programs.
This while the US Government has a debt of
That is 12 trillion Dollars, ladies and gentlemen.
A US national debt that is rising with $ 3.96 billion per day.
Each US citizen has a share of this debt amounting to $ 40,638.40

The only thing Jim Bunning was asking was how the US Government was going to pay for this $ 10 billion while having an enormous debt.
And that makes sense.
If you are in debt for over $ 12 trillion, where are you getting your money from to spend another 10 billion?
Knowing also the 10 billion serves as a stopgap.
According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a $100-billion-plus measure is needed to provide a longer-term extension of unemployment benefits that would last through the end of the year, along with a full-year extension of higher Medicare payments to doctors and help for states with their Medicaid budgets.

The message Jim Bunning is sending is that the US Government must stop spending by just adding to the national debt.
He is saying that the money has to come from somewhere else.
From within the budget the US Government has available.
Keeping in mind what Cicero said 106 years before Christ: "The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled."

The rule should be that if the US Government wants to spend $ 10 billion it must look in the budget where $ 10 billion will not be spend.
The playing field is by what taxes bring in.
Additional excessive borrowing brings a country in a downward spiral and eventually economic misery for its inhabitants to have no more prosperity while pushed into deep poverty.

For years and years now the US politicians and the US people have been living on a financial scale that is not sustainable.
Spending and spending and borrowing and borrowing.
A collision course that is going to bring the country and its inhabitants eventually in a terrible and dramatic situation of devastation and decay.

But few people in the United States want to see this.
Blinded as most are by spending, spending, having, having, consuming, consuming.

Take Maine Senator Susan Collins, a Republican.
She said of her fellow party member Jim Bunning that he is hurting the American people by asking to finance the $ 10 billion from within the budget.

And that is the thing.
If the money is borrowed and the debt made go up, politicians are not hurting the American people.
But if one shows insight, intelligence and concern for the next generations of Americans, the person is against its people.

As long as this mentality is dominant, and it is, the blinded and the stupid are in control.
And the price eventually to pay will be extremely high.

The $ 10 billion could have been easily found inside the Federal budget.
The United States is spending over $ 607 billion annually on their military.
41.5 % of what is spend worldwide by all countries.
Over 4 % of the GDP.
Twice as much as countries like France and three times as much as countries like Germany.

Wouldn't it be better for the United States to stop all this international warring to first clean up the financial mess at home?
And to start taking serious persons like Jim Bunning?


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SF come true

It has been predicted in science fiction stories long ago.
A machine that can audibly and instantly translate.

For example, a German person and an American person meet.
One speaks German, the other speaks English.
In between them they have this machine that instantly translates what every person says in the other language.
The German says something in German and the machine instantly translates it into English.
The American says something in English and instantly the machine translates this in German.

This is a great invention very useful for people who travel.
No need anymore to learn languages.

This fabulous machine has been developed in Germany.
At the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
It is called "Silent sounds" and was presented today at the CeBIT-congress in Hannover, Germany.

For the moment they stick electrodes on the skin of the person talking.
These electrodes determine the slightest movements of the facial muscles and the position of the lips.
To translate them into audible text.
However, in the near future the electrodes will be placed for example in mobile phones.

One way of using this machine is for persons who have lost their voice.
Another application is to talk soundlessly in public places in the mobile phone without disturbing anyone else.
The third way of using it is to have it translate.
Already the "Silent Sounds"-system makes on average only one mistake every one hundred words.

It is expected, according to Michael Wand of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology that in about five to ten years this invention will be a common gadget.

Will be fun to see what happens when two of these machines will be made to talk to each other.


To learn more about the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology click on:

For the whole story on "Silent Sounds", click on: