Friday, August 31, 2007

Is Henriette coming?

The cool air from the Pacific Ocean is blown by the northwestern wind onto the coast where it hits the warmer air coming from the land heated by the sun.
This results in spectacular clouds that develop in thunderstorms.

These thunderstorms hardly reach El Triple.
The thunder can be heard and the dark skies can be seen in the east and eventually a tiny bit of rain may fall in the desert surrounding the Fuso Szulc.

Meanwhile, in front of the Mexican west coast a storm is moving north that may well develop into a hurricane according to the National Hurricane Centre.
Tropical Storm Henriette is now near Acapulco and moving with a speed of 10 MPH (16 km/hr).
It has winds of 40 MPH (65 km/hr) and rainfall of 8 to 15 inches. (20 to 38 cm).
If Tropical Storm Henriette develops into a real hurricane we will see increased numbers for wind speeds and rainfall.

It is predicted that Henriette might reach Cabo San Lucas at the south end of the Baja California peninsula.
If that is the case El Triple will be affected.
With high winds and tropical rainfall and the amounts depend how close the heart of the hurricane passes by.


All this could happen in the next two to three days but luck has it that there will be no exposure at El Triple to this possible danger.


After 21 days retreating at El Triple, on Sunday the journey will be made to La Paz.
There are no more fresh fruit and vegetables in the Fuso Szulc and in a few days all the drinking water will finish.
While there is still plenty of non-potable water, propane and toothpaste.
But it is time to hit town again and be with friends and see people.

If more drinking water would be stored in the Fuso Szulc and if it would be accepted to eat frozen food, much longer than 21 days could be spend at El Triple.
This is a realistic possibility because it is experienced now being at El Triple with the Fuso Szulc how well it is designed and build for these kinds of adventures.

But there is a certain danger to watch out for.
In the last 20 days only one person has been seen and socialised with.
The sweet and helpful friend from La Paz.
During 19 days it was the ocean, the desert and the pelicans.
No other person has been met and talked to.

To retreat is very good for the mental sanity.
Many people worldwide are doing this because it is so beneficial.
But one must watch not to overdo it.
To be spiralled down by the trance of the solitude.
To become deprived too much and enter a world of damaging delusion.

This is being felt very strongly.
The idea to have to break up the El Triple camp and drive to La Paz wakes up strong emotions of resistance.
To leave the peace and harmony behind results in inner screaming of protest and objection.

These days Jack Kerouac’s famous book “On the road” is being re-read.
A book about people who went to extremes to experience the essence of life.
To try to get into the deepest possible way of living life.
They didn’t go into retreat as a method but used drugs and they drank a lot.
Result was nihilism of depressing proportions.
And eventually pure madness and destroyed bodies followed by a death at a young age.
It is with those dangers retreating is surrounded.
A certain amount of discipline and reasonability must be applied in order to escape delusion and madness.
This is not very hard to do.
It is very well understood that a lot objects to leaving El Triple.
For many reasons it is wonderful and exciting and productive to be here.
But spending time in La Paz will be wonderful and exciting and productive as well.
And meeting Henriette in a town is a better idea as well.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Jack Kerouac's book "On the road" has as a ISBN number:
0-14-004259-8
Check out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Road
and:
http://books.google.com/books?id=4w1vQRkAVxYC&dq=&pg=PP1&ots=an9HULDKh5&sig=nVytWH-kXiNq9Bdb3AvXyxWhJLo&prev=http://www.google.com/search%3Fq%3Don%2Bthe%2Broad%2Bkerouac%26ie%3Dutf-8%26oe%3Dutf-8%26aq%3Dt%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:nl:official%26client%3Dfirefox-a&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title#PPR9,M1






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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Running into paradise.

One of the important daily activities at El Triple is the running.

Every day at about 7 pm, after completing the daily yoga exercises, the stretching starts in preparation for the running.
This always comes with a certain feeling of excitement.
The prospect of physical performance, the realization of working in a positive way on the health and the eventual contentment are constructive influences.

But also every time fearful thoughts flash through the mind whether it will be possible to run again non-stop.
Because it is feared that maybe half way the running must be stopped due to exhaustion or pain or any other serious inconvenience.
If this happens it is devastating for the morale to have to walk back.

There are two important preparations for the running.
One is to have a very light lunch at about noon and as of then not to eat anything anymore until running.
The second important thing is to build up the running.
Every day a little more time and distance to develop the muscles slowly and to adapt the body step to step to the daily performance.

Another vital issue are the shoes.
Good running shoes are essential to avoid injuries.
For years Saucony shoes are used.

Each 10 to 12 months a new pair is bought to secure having the best flexibility and shock absorption.


It is all taken very serious because the running is every single day.
Eventually, when build-up is completed, it is for about one hour each time.
That is quite something to ask of the body.
A lot of strain on the muscles, the joints, the lungs and the general endurance.

Doctors say that running two or three times a week is sufficient to have beneficial effects on the health.
But if ambition and the need to perform are sky-high, looking for ways out, running every day is a peaceful way of dealing with those powers.

The one-hour a day does not result in injuries, as is often the case with fanatic runners.
They eventually suffer of all kinds of trouble due to the intense exercise.
Which is a way of the body to protest the overloading and overdoing.
But this body is not showing any sign that running for one hour a day is too much to cope with.
And as long as it doesn’t break down and as long as it gives high contentment, why not simply enjoy it?

While running an Apple iPod is used.

To listen to music and make the exercise even more exciting.
Not just any kind of music though.
A specific kind of music that is called “Trance”.
It is electronic, very hypnotic and originating from the nightlong dance parties in the big cities of Europe and the USA.
Where young people get into a trance frenzied by this music and a drug called ecstasy.

This daily running is like a ceremony.
A celebration.
The only running that is not a running away or a running to somewhere.
It is a movement that is horizontal but lifting up vertically in exhilaration.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



To learn more about "Trance music", check out the CD's of "Forbidden Paradise" 11, "Face the wild" by clicking on:
http://www.discogs.com/release/104949

To learn more about the running shoes, click on:
http://www.saucony.com/

To learn more about the drug ecstasy, click on:
http://www.narconon.ca/Ecstasy.htm

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stalled in a stall.

Not too long ago, waiting in the “Estacion del Norte” in Barcelona, Spain, to catch the bus to Cadaques.
A 2 hours ride and therefore it was decided better to use the public bathrooms before departure.

There were two urinals and the other one was in use by a man already.
A young man.
Maybe between 29 and 35 years old.
Dressed in a modern way.

While standing next to this man and concentrating on a necessary job to avoid getting into trouble later in the bus, it was felt the man was looking.
Trying to make eye contact.
Seeing the man in the face he was looking indeed and after he was sure he had the attention he quickly looked down to his relieving activity and back up into the eyes of his neighbour and back to his activity and back to the eyes.
He obviously wanted the other person to see what he was doing.
Following his silent instructions it could be seen he was not relieving himself at all.
With his hand he was massaging his half swollen penis.
This guy was getting a kick of masturbating in a public toilet needing other men to see this activity.

Not being gay it is not very interesting to watch a guy masturbate himself in a public toilet.
Besides that the mind is not really focused nor prepared on these kinds of exotic experiences and extravagances of others when needing to relieve oneself and when shortly a bus is there to catch and soon dear friends will be met.

Without saying anything to the guy, after job done, the public toilet was left.
Pity was felt for the masturbating man.

Each of us hopefully has sexuality to experience.
That can be a great source of pleasure and happiness.
And we human beings have the liberty to live this sexuality as we like.
We can make it beautiful.
We can make it ugly.
The guy in “Estacion del Norte” in Barcelona, Spain, was not showing a very beautiful way of having his sexuality.
It is hard to imagine that the man comes out of the public toilet feeling proud of himself, happily and fully satisfied and positive.
That inability of him to have sex in a more paradise like way showers plenty of pity on him.

The truth is though, that besides pity also some aggression was felt towards the guy.
In the end he is confronting other men with his obsession.
His specific way of getting sexual excitement.
Disrespecting the other person’s privacy.
Intruding his half swollen penis into his neighbour’s lives.
That is not so nice.
But is that a reason to get upset and beat the guy up?
Explaining that he was throwing his dirt and now he gets it from the other?
Or is it a reason to call the police and ask them to arrest the guy?

In this case the decision was made not to escalate the matter.
OK, a guy masturbating in a public place: big deal.
Weirdoes can be found anywhere.
Many times public toilets were used when nothing happened so how important is this all?
And how often are women not harassed by horny men and this everywhere in public?

It was also considered an idea to have a conversation with the guy.
A deadly conversation shrinking his penis immediately as if he suddenly was dropped pants down in the sub zero temps of the North Pole.

Maybe saying to him: “Yes, and….?” would already be effective.
Or:
“Do you happen to know what Donald Rumsfeld is doing these days?”
Test the guy’s sense of humour.

This posting is of course inspired by the events around Republican Senator Bill Craig.
62 years old and haunted by rumours he is homosexual.
He got involved in an unfortunate story at an airport’s public toilet.
While more serious crime is everywhere, the police force has employees sitting in stalls of public toilets trying to catch men who look for sexual adventures.
Sergeant Karsnia is one of them.
This policeman has the horrible task to sit in a stall of an airport’s public toilet probably for hours, waiting for men to come to occupy the adjacent stall and see if they make any passes fitting in the codes men use to get involved with each other.

A man in the USA making passes in a public toilet is guilty of disorderly conduct.
Seriously punished: Senator Craig paid $ 575, was put on unsupervised probation for one year and a sentence of 10 days in the county workhouse was stayed.
And suddenly his whole career, job and reputation are in danger and might go down the drains.
Pathetically he gave a press conference with his wife on his side, not taking questions of journalists, declaring:
“I am not gay and I never was”.
Fine, but then what was all his monkeying in that stall about?





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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Eclipsing the joke of life.

The photographic work going on at El Triple these days is making landscapes.
Pictures of interesting situations in the landscape and of the sky.
The idea is to later combine these images in a surprising way.
With a software program called Adobe Photoshop C3 it is possible for example to have above a sunny landscape a sky as it is during the night.

Yesterday it was full moon and after doing the daily running followed by bathing in the very cool ocean everything was made ready to photograph the landscape with the rising moon.
It was a beautiful moonrise and clouds gave this extra dramatic effect.



After a simple dinner, just some vegetables and pasta, the computer was switched on and the e-mails of the day were received.
One was from the sweet and helpful friend from La Paz, by now well known with the fervent and loyal blog readers.
She informed that during the night there would be a total eclipse of the moon.
This very moon that had just been photographed!

This kind of congruent coincidence immediately brings to mind part of the Bob Dylan song “All around the watchtower”:

“There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I we’ve been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
The hours getting late”.

The sweet and helpful friend had informed the eclipse would be at 4 a.m.
But at 3.15 a.m., out of pure excitement, looking through the large roof vent of the Fuso Szulc, the beginning of the eclipse could already be seen.

This was the second lunar eclipse this year but the longest one in 7 years lasting over 90 minutes.

For over one hour pictures were taken of this magical event.
To observe that in fact two phenomenons occur.
One is that the moon slowly is covered by the shadow of the earth.
And in sync with this is the other event that slowly all the stars around the moon start to appear.





While watching the eclipse, there was a falling star.
Authorizing the observer to make a wish.


Early in the morning, after some hours of more sleep, the full moon could be seen setting into the ocean.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

To learn more about the lunar eclipse of last night, click on:
http://www.sems.und.edu/~sems/index.html
University of North Dakota






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Monday, August 27, 2007

Only peace, no more panic.

Saturday morning.
After breakfast the Apple MacBook Pro computer and the Datastorm Satellite System were switched on.
Still no access to the Internet.
For three days now…

It seemed that the intervention on Friday of the sweet and helpful friend in La Paz did not have positive result.
That the problem was beyond her reach to solve.
Knowing she did her best the conclusion was to go personally to La Paz on Monday to try to settle the matter.

While writing on the Apple MacBook Pro computer and having left the Datastorm Satellite System on, suddenly the magical thing happened.
From one moment to the other access to the Internet was possible again.
There was a re-connection.
The pelicans and seagulls on the beach looked up in surprise for the screams of joy and happiness coming out of the Fuso Szulc.

One of the many e-mails received was from the sweet and helpful friend in La Paz.
She wrote:

"I was talking to this nice Indian voice on the 1-800 number of the Billing Office at Motosat.
He said your card could not be used for the last 2 months.
That's why they disconnected you.
Now the Indian voice charged your card for July & August USD159.98 and will charge you in Sept. USD79.99, the normal rate.
He said you will be connected again in the next 4 to 20 hours.
Because it was a nice and helpful Indian voice he will connect you as soon as possible and also because it made him sorry to know that you are in the middle of nowhere when there is a hurricane season etc etc."

Everybody can be sure that the hundreds of fervent and loyal blog readers believe that the sweet and helpful friend in La Paz did a fabulous job and that we are all extremely thankful to her.

The credit card involved has the option to see on-line what is going on with it.
This was checked right away and the fact is that everything is fine with this credit card.
In fact, it is a debit card: it covers the payments made with a deposit on the card.
Over the last 3 months the deposit has been more than generous and all kinds of payments were made seamlessly.
The question now is why Motosat was unable to get their money.
For 14 months it went well and then suddenly it became impossible.

Another question is why Motosat doesn’t inform the customer that they have a problem getting their money.
They try and when after 3 months it is still failure they simply switch the customer off.

Later, in a SKYPE phone conversation, the sweet and helpful friend from La Paz told that on the phone the employee of Motosat tried to use the credit card in question again and the payments went through without a problem.

Motosat doesn’t have a website where a customer can log in and check the account.
It might be a good idea to call Motosat next visit to La Paz and ask an explanation.
And maybe change monthly payments into a single annual payment.
Which comes with a 5 % discount…

Reflecting on this saga with Motosat it is realised what an incredible experience it has been.
The incredibility is in the timing.
On Wednesday Motosat blocked the access to the Internet and on Thursday the friend came from La Paz who managed to solve the problem the next day.
That is a rather magical event.
Like perfect planning.

To have been blocked from access to the Internet was an annoying experience.
But to see the closer union grow with the sweet and helpful friend is of a highly appreciated beauty.









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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Peace or panic 2.

Friday morning at about 10.

Yesterday, for the first time in 7 years, the day at El Triple was spent together with a friend.
This was beautiful.
Intimate and warm.

The problem with the Datastorm Satellite System was discussed.
That access to the Internet is denied by the Service Provider because the monthly fee seems not to have been paid.
Because of probably a malfunctioning credit card.

The sweet and helpful friend immediately offered to make the phone calls.
Supplied with all the information about the Datastorm Satellite System she has returned to La Paz.

Now it is Friday.
The sky is overcast and a few raindrops fall.
Probably because of hurricane Dean.

The question on the mind is of course what is happening in La Paz.
Will it be possible for the sweet and helpful friend to solve the problem with the Service Provider?
If so, it will be noticed when again it will be possible to get on the Internet.
If it is more complicated than expected, the sweet and helpful friend has no way to communicate with El Triple.
But it will be noticed because of continuing denial by the Service Provider to access the Internet.

It is an intriguing situation.
Even exciting in a peculiar way.
It is becoming an interesting experience.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday at about 11.20 a.m.

The first time to switch on the Datastorm Satellite System.
The sweet and helpful friend said yesterday she would call to Motosat, the IPS (Internet Service Provider) in the USA, this morning starting at 8 a.m.
So by now some result might be expected?

What is the result?
This:
The status is still that the Service Provider denies access to the Internet.
And they have a new message!
Yesterday it said:

“VSAT service suspended due to billing lock at WED AUG 22 12:33 2007.”


And now, Friday morning, a new message has appeared:

“VSAT decommissioned at FRI AUG 24 12:56 2007.”


Decommissioned????
What the hell is that about???

The system will be switched off.
A simple lunch will be enjoyed followed by a peaceful nap.
To go fishing because it is high tide, a calm sea and supplies are low after almost two weeks.
Later in the afternoon attention will be given to the situation with the Service Provider.

It is a weird situation not to have access to the Internet.
Over the years working at El Triple, never this option was available.
Up to three weeks would be spend here to go to an Internet Café in La Paz to check the mail.
During those years life went on and work was made and everything went like normal.
So this idea that it is vital to have Internet at El Triple is relative.

There are two good reasons though to have Internet at El Triple.
One is for safety.
To know about possible hurricanes coming this way or other dangerous situations requiring communication.
Secondly it is the posting of the daily blog and serving its hundreds of readers.
The first reason affects only one person and the unfortunate situation with Motosat can be digested without too many hiccups.
But the second reason is more annoying.
It feels very unsettling to have to disappoint fervent and loyal blog readers who do not even have a clue what is going on.

One thing though we know for sure.
The sweet and helpful friend in La Paz will do everything she can to settle this matter and already for that we are very thankful to her.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday evening at about 09.00 p.m.

Still decommissioned….
Out here in the boondocks incommunicado and in the dark.








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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Panic or peace 1.

Suddenly El Triple turned into the opposite.
It was a peaceful place where life was in harmony.
And now it is something very different.

What is disrupting this paradise on earth?

Yesterday the link with the world through Internet suddenly disconnected.
Checking the diagnosis of the Datastorm System, the message was found:
“Service suspended due to billing lock at Wednesday August 22. Contact Service Provider”

Billing lock?
What is billing lock?

The only thing that can be imagined is that there is a problem with the monthly fee that needs to be paid to the Service Provider.
This monthly amount is transferred automatically by credit card.
The credit card however is connected to the bank account blocked by the IRS in the Netherlands.
Maybe somehow the credit card is not working properly anymore and the Internet Provider was unable to get their monthly fee?
And it seems they simply disconnect when the money is not received.
Without a warning.

The message is to contact the Service Provider.
Two problems:
There is no indication what is their name or phone number.
No idea who is the Service Provider.
Paul Angerami of the company Satellite Advantage arranged the provider for the Datastorm Satellite System when he installed the system on the Lazy Daze.
When changing from the Lazy Daze to the Fuso Szulc a whole new Datastorm Satellite System was obtained and installed, but the provider was kept.

By contacting Paul Angerami it can be found out who is the provider and how to get in touch with them.

However, the second problem is that at “El Triple” is no phone.
No signal to use a mobile phone.
Too far away from the civilised world.

This means that the camp at El Triple must be dismantled and the challenging journey made to La Paz, the nearest town with facilities.
To make the phone calls and see if the problem can be solved.

To return to La Paz is loathed.
It is a lot of effort to break down the camp.
The road is very bad and hard to negotiate.
It is going to take days to settle this problem.

Events in life often come in clusters.
Like a sudden intensification of the energy making us live and experience things.

Yesterday the connection with the Internet stopped and today a visitor from La Paz is expected.
The first visitor coming to El Triple in 7 years.

Maybe there is an option that the visiting friend, returned to La Paz, can get in touch with Paul Angerami and the Service Provider to get the access reinstated.

At this moment in time it is unclear how this new problem will be resolved.
The friend has not arrived yet.

The feeling about the whole thing is like before.
These kinds of problems are so incredibly uninteresting.
They ask a lot of time and energy to resolve while in fact they are totally unnecessary complications.
There is nothing challenging about them: a few phone calls and it is settled.
It cannot be seen what is the benefit of these experiences.

However, there is this tremendous luck that today by complete coincidence this friend is coming to visit.
Who might be able to settle the problem after she has returned to La Paz.

Let’s see if she wants to get involved so that the Datastorm Internet Satellite complication turns into an event absorbing and shining her beauty and goodness.





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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A human temple.

Now that the breathing exercises are done, the next step at this vista point early in the morning overlooking the Pacific Ocean is to do stretching.

Human beings are basically organs in a skeleton hold together by muscles wrapped in a skin.
By time these muscles shorten and get less flexible.
This is when the person is not keeping those muscles in shape by doing daily exercises.

It is of course a choice how to deal with the own body.
Nobody is forced or obliged to keep the muscles flexible.
But it has been figured out that when the body is considered a temple in which the person has the fantastic privilege of living, it makes the individual feel better.
It is only logic then to keep the temple clean and to maintain it well.

To feel the body to be in shape, to feel it is strong and healthy, to see the temple in all its glory, all this has a very positive influence on the self-awareness.
This is important because the main goal in life is to try to make as much new interesting work as possible.
And this is more successful when housed in a beautiful and well-maintained temple.

The stretching exercises have been learned while living in the beautiful village of Cadaques, Spain.
For more than 17 years a friendship blossoms with Kixe Grau who lives in Cadaques and who has, as one of her many activities, giving classes of yoga.
It is from beautiful Kixe that the stretching has been learned.

It needs discipline and conviction to perform these stretching exercises daily.
In the classes with Kixe that was easy.
She was so sweet, soft and gentle that it all became a pacifying pleasure.
But by oneself the motivation is personal only and the truth is that fiercely flexing muscles hurts.
In fact the body screams to stop doing that while it knows itself it is for the best of everybody.
Therefore, most of the time, Kixe is made to appear in the imagination as if she was there with her loving guidance.
A very effective method.

Today’s posting has this annex.

Fervent and loyal readers remember the issue with US Airways.
How the return date had been changed in order to get their passenger into the USA.
And that they required proof of not being in the USA anymore before they would put the airplane ticket back to its original return date.

This saga has come to a satisfactory end.
It took a few efforts to fax US Airways the document showing entrance into Mexico.
First fax number supplied didn’t work and the document sent, as an attachment to an e-mail, didn’t open it was claimed.
But eventually, using a new fax number and sent to a particular person at US Airways, it was received and the date was put back.
And as a grand gesture US Airways does not charge the 200 $ they could enforce to all these changes.
Bravo, US Airways.

There is still the other issue.
The IRS from the Netherlands having blocked the bank account for what they believe are income taxes not paid over the last couple of years.
There is a document from the IRS from the Netherlands stating that because of immigration to another country, this hard working photographer doesn’t need to pay taxes anymore in the Netherlands.
This important document is in Cadaques, Spain and it is not clear yet if it has actually been found.
Rather important because with this document the IRS of the Netherlands can be put back into the groove.
Their muscles must be made flexible as well.








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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

India in Mexico.

After waking up and settling matters with the subconscious, it is every morning to a specific spot in front of the Fuso Szulc.
It is at the edge of the cliff from where a commanding view.
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean at an unobstructed angle of 180 degrees.
Seeing the morning sky at an angle of 360 degrees.
And having the first pee of the day at an encouraging angle of 70 degrees.

The air at El Triple is probably not polluted.
There is no town and no industry nearby and most of the time the wind is from the northwest.
That is from Japan and that country is pretty far away.
While in a place like Riverside, California, USA, the air is so polluted that breathing in is naturally objected by the body, at El Triple where the air is clean, clear and rich in oxygen, the lungs long to fill themselves.

This is the first exercise of the day.
To stand humbly facing the ocean and taking deep breathes.
Filling the lungs to their max capacity having the upper torso swell up like the dick of a whale.
Letting the air in through the nose in a gentle and seemingly endless way.
Letting the air out by way of the mouth releasing all tension, negativity and hyperactivity.

This may all sound like an exercise practiced in the better mental hospitals.
Some idiot obsessed by breathing.

It is fine if one likes to think that.
Some like sugar in the coffee and some like pepper in the stew.
Let each of us have it as one likes.

These breathing exercises early in the morning, while the sun comes up and the first pelicans pass by patrolling the waves of the ocean, are nothing exceptional.
For thousands of years human beings have been doing these breathing exercises.
Knowing the benefits and the healthy effects they have.

It all depends in what kind of religious and cultural environment one has been growing up.
And how open one is later in life for things coming one’s way.

Having been born in a European aristocratic family and having had a Roman Catholic education, there was not much in the sense of breathing exercises going on.
The parents were very much into offering their children a healthy physical life but this within the cultural and traditional doctrines of Europe.

For example, somehow they knew that cod-liver oil was good for the health of their children and they were instructed to take a round, brown and shiny pill a day.
Somehow the parents knew that a sun-lamp in wintertime was good for the health therefore many evenings the children undressed, put on funny goggles and had to lay on a blanket in the light of the sun-lamp.

However, doing breathing exercises, yoga and meditation was completely strange to them.
It was not built within their concept of life.

Only later, after this individual dropped a lot of that past and kept much of it also, travelled to countries like India, he opened up and learned about an approach to life of a different kind.
Different ways for well-being.

One of the consequences is these early morning breathing exercises.
India in Mexico.










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Monday, August 20, 2007

Green grass growing in the desert.

This is the 9th day of the retreat.
For 8 days no other human being has been met.

The world is still there, it seems, but not here.
Radio and Internet report and this information confirms the existence of the others but is almost abstract in the deprived reality of El Triple.

Before the sun rises, the night of sleep is ended.
The dreams are first realized and thought over: not very interesting to do because these days all dreams every night are about houses.
Looking for a new home to buy.
Visiting a new home to live in.
And all this in a most emotional way.

The subconscious has been informed that the message by now is clear, but the dreams keep on coming.

It is considered one of the imperfections of a human being.
Always looking for and desiring something new and different.

It has been a dream of many years to live and work at El Triple in a self-designed expedition vehicle.
Now this dream has come true and one would expect the person responsible for this feat to be completely satisfied and content.
In the consciousness this is happening.
There is a high degree of satisfaction, self-respect and joy for being now in the Fuso Szulc at El Triple.

But the subconscious starts nagging and whining and pretending something else now is even more important.

So, after waking up and while realizing the dreams of the recent night learning once more it is about housing and homes, the subconscious hears from the dreamer:
“You, subconscious, you go and fuck yourself.”

Well yes, because what kind of nonsense is this?
When still living in this beautiful house in the wonderful village of Cadaques, Spain, the subconscious was inspiring dreams of living in an expedition vehicle at El Triple.
Now that this has become reality the subconscious inspires to dream about homes.

Imagine that the subconscious is being taken seriously.
The Fuso Szulc would go up for sale and a home somewhere bought.
Once in that new home the dreams will nag to live in an expedition vehicle.

Besides, the consciousness is super content in the Fuso Szulc and happy and joyful and productive.
Therefore the conclusion for today is that sometimes the subconscious must be overruled and instructed to shut the fuck up.

But maybe the communication with the subconscious should take place on more friendly terms.
Usually it is not very effective nor productive, let alone elegant and erudite, to shout things like “Go fuck yourself” and “Shut the fuck up”.
It is not very likely the subconscious will refrain from now on, intimidated by the shouting and expressed irritation, of inspiring dreams about issues playing in its territory.
To the contrary.
Most likely, like a child, the more it is opposed, the more it will make itself feel.

Today thinking will be about how to approach the subconscious in a way it will agree to stop its dilettantish behaviour.
To convince it to be happy and satisfied with what is.
To harmonize with its friend the consciousness.
To stop imagining that the grass is greener on the other side of the hill therefore unable to see the rich pasture we happen to be in now.

The paradox is that the Fuso Szulc happens to be in the desert where no green grass grows.
But then, as Goethe said, everything is a metaphor.
El Triple is a metaphor for rich pastures and we must hope the subconscious is able to smell green grass in the dry desert.








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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sophocles flies US Airways.

In June 2007 a return ticket was bought to fly with US Airways from Amsterdam, the Netherlands to Los Angeles, USA.
To go on June 12, 2007 and to return on March 4, 2008.

This airplane ticket was bought on the Internet at www.orbitz.com
The money for the ticket was taken from the credit card and the confirmation code sent.

However, a problem arose at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam when checking in.
A European receives a visa when entering the USA valid for 3 months.
But the plane ticket had a return date 9 months later.
This is not permitted by Homeland Security.
A visitor can only come to the USA with a plane ticket having a return date within 3 months.

It was explained that within 3 months the USA would be left to go to Mexico.
US Airways wanted proof of that.
Another airplane ticket showing departure out of the USA within 3 months.

However, the Fuso Szulc being in Riverside at the time, departure would be by car crossing the border in Tijuana.

The lady of US Airways at the Amsterdam airport called the US representative of Homeland Security present in an office there to come over to settle this matter.
That request was refused.
The rule was that a passenger could only get on a plane to the USA with an airplane ticket having a return date within 3 months or having also an airplane ticket to somewhere else within 3 months.
No exceptions.
Too bad for those who leave the USA within 3 months by boat or car.

The US Airways representative offered a choice.
To change the return date or not to get on the plane.

Not really a choice and having no options the return date was changed to September 10, 2007.
Well within the 3 months.

It was agreed with US Airways that once in the USA the return date could be set back to March 4, 2008 through their website.
And it was agreed that the 100 $ it costs to change a ticket in this case would not be charged.

Last week the website of US Airways was visited to change the date from September 10, 2007 back to March 4, 2008.
However, the personal account with US Airways was blocked.
No changes could be made.
The message was to call US Airways 800 number.

From outside the USA no 800 numbers can be called.
Therefore an e-mail was send to the helpdesk of US Airways.

Response was within two days.
The account was blocked, it was explained, because there was this 100 $ for changing the ticket to be paid.
In spite of what was promised at the Amsterdam airport, the fee for changing the return date was charged anyway.

Several e-mails were sent between US Airways and its customer.
Insisting that the return date needed to be changed to March 4, 2008.

Eventually the message became clear and US Airways now is prepared to change the return date.
But only if they get proof that the USA has been left and the customer is somewhere else.
This proof must be a copy of the passport where one can see a stamp of leaving the USA and a copy of the Immigration document of the country where currently staying.
These copies cannot be e-mailed but need to be faxed to US Airways.

Last Friday these requested copies were faxed.
But their fax machine was disconnected.
This was reported in an e-mail to US Airways to which the copies were attached.

Now it is a matter of waiting what will happen next in this saga.
If they are accepting the copies sent by e-mail or if they insist on receiving them by fax.
For the second option they obviously need to get their fax-service in order.

It is also a matter of waiting to see what happens with the fee of changing the ticket.
In fact, the ticket will be changed twice and maybe US Airways will charge an extra 200 $.

One observation in this case is that US Airways has become one of the executive powers of the Homeland Security.

Second observation is that if a life is lived not similar like most people do, one is bound to face complications.

But it is easy to handle this matter.
While this adventure with US Airways develops the fascinating book “Kafka on the shore” by Japanese author Haruki Murakami is read.
And in sync with the US Airways-saga the explanatory text in the book reads:

“What you are experiencing now is the motif of many Greek tragedies.
Man doesn’t choose fate.
Fate chooses man.

And the sense of tragedy –according to Aristotle- comes, ironically enough, not from the protagonist’s weak points but from his good qualities.
People are drawn deeper into tragedy not by their defects but by their virtues.

Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex being a great example.
Oedipus is drawn into tragedy not because of laziness or stupidity, but because of his courage and honesty.
So an inevitable irony results.

But irony deepens a person, helps them to mature.
It’s the entrance to salvation on a higher plane, to a place where you can find a more universal kind of hope.

Everything in life is a metaphor, Goethe said.
We accept irony through a device called metaphor.
And through that we grow and become deeper human beings”.

***********************************



To learn more about the important book "Kafka on the shore" by Haruki Murakami, ISBN 0-099-49409-4, go to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kafka_on_the_Shore






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Saturday, August 18, 2007

North from here.

“La Aguja”, the area south of “El Triple”, currently being developed as a resort, used to be a place for farming.
Still one can see the fields that were once cultivated.
A dam that had been built and some stone houses.
But in 1979 already the farming had been abandoned and “La Aguja” is now finding a second life as eventually a place for tourists and holidays.

The same goes for “La Ballena”, to the north of “El Triple”.
At about a 45 minutes walk.
It is a small valley along a dry riverbed where once a small farm was with fields around it.


In 1979 it was also abandoned but about 12 years ago a Mexican family moved in.
They had brought their cattle and tried to make a living.
This was Francisco Xavier Cardena, his parents and his sister.

In those days, living and working at “El Triple” was together with the beautiful and highly talented artist Mayumi Nakazaki, originally from Tokyo and wife for over 8 years.
Soon we became friends with Xavier and his family until one winter, when returning from Europe to “El Triple”, “La Ballena” was abandoned again.

For years “La Ballena” remained untouched.
The small farming house detoriated and collapsed and the large fields were retaken by nature.

Very rarely the owner of “La Ballena” would come by.
Don Leonardo Castro.
A true caballero from La Paz who owned hundreds and hundreds of acres of land including “El Triple”.
He would come accompanied by his sons in a nice SUV and have a friendly chat.

About 7 years ago Don Leonardo Castro sold his property to a Canadian company that wanted to develop the area in a kind of tourist town.
The Canadian company had a big bulldozer come in that made all kinds of dirt roads in the area.
However, the next year they failed to pay Don Leonardo Castro the annual payment on the purchase price and the property returned to him.

The bulldozed roads slowly collapsed and blended into nature.

For years nothing happened.
Until last year.
In 2006, around this time, a white Chevrolet Suburban came to “El Triple”.
Out came two American couples.
The men dressed in shorts only and having a beer in their hands.

The man with the most impressive physique approached and asked:
“What are you doing here?”.
A rather puzzling question and this the man must have noticed.
He said:
“You know, I am the new owner here”.
The man was Jeff Knaus from Ross, California, USA.
It was explained to Mr. Knaus that since 1979 “El Triple” was the location where conceptual photography was made, published in several books, exhibited worldwide and in the collections of major museums in the USA and Europe.

Mr. Knaus explained that he and his associates were intending to develop the area into an ecological friendly resort.
Prepared to make investments of millions of Dollars.
But he stated also that as long as the actual realization of the resort had not started the work on the conceptual photography could continue.
“It’s fine with me when you are here working on your pictures”, Jeff Knaus said.

However, shortly after, an e-mail was received.
It said:

Michel,

I hate to bring you bad news, but at the advice of our counsel, you need to leave the property.

Please trust that I personally am fine with you being there, but this is not my decision to make.

Sorry, please let me know your plans to close up and move off the property.

Let me know that you are OK with this and thanks,

Jeff


This e-mail initiated an exchange of messages and for the moment there seems to be a status quo.
It has been explained to Jeff Knaus that obviously, as soon as the bulldozers come to transform this area, this photographer has no more reason to stay at “El Triple”.
The landscape will change drastically making it impossible to make any more conceptual photography.
A new location somewhere else will be found.

Jeff Knaus’counsel probably fears that because for so many years “El Triple” has been the location to work, certain rights could be claimed.
That might be valid in the USA, but “El Triple” is in Mexico and Mexican law applies here.
Mexican law says that although “El Triple” is private property, the roads are public and need to remain open for everybody.
It also says that within a certain distant from the high tide line of the ocean anybody can access that area.

Fortunately, there is no conflict with Jeff Knaus.
In e-mail communication it has been proposed by him that for the time to come staying at “El Triple” could be allowed in exchange for the photographic works made there.
To use in the promotion and publicity when selling the lots in this area.

For the moment not much is happening.
In the valley where is the abandoned “La Ballena” rancho, an old class A motor home is hauled in which a caretaker is living.
A kind of metal hangar is build to store materials.
The well has been cleaned and a pump house build.
And a nursery has been started to have trees and plants to surround the houses that are intended to be built.

Because the activities to develop resorts around here takes place in the valleys relatively far from “El Triple”, nothing can be noticed yet.

The peace and the harmony continue.
But the clock is ticking.







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Friday, August 17, 2007

South from here.

The location from where today’s posting is coming from, El Triple in Baja California, Mexico, has been visited for the first time in 1979.

This stretch of coast is unpopulated.
To the South is a lighthouse and a camp of fishermen about a one-hour and a half drive from El Triple.
This is called Punta Marquez.
To the North is another lighthouse with a camp of fishermen and that takes over two hours.
This is called Punta El Conejo.
In miles those lighthouses and fishermen camps are not that far, but the roads in this area are not maintained.
They are dirt roads of the worst quality and can only be negotiated by high clearance vehicles, at low speed and with a lot of patience.

The fishermen use what is called “panga’s”.
About 6 meter (20 feet) long polyester boats with an outboard engine.
They use nets to fish.
And lines with baits as well as lobster traps.
These fishermen in their panga’s pass by sometimes in front of El Triple.
They shout and whistle and wave to greet.
Because over the years they have come to know that for months someone is living there.
In the past the fishermen have come by in their old battered up pick-up trucks to make acquaintance offering fish and lobster.
They know who is there: Miguel, the photographer from Holland.

South from El Triple, at the end of the long bay and beyond a cape, is a wide dry riverbed.
A 45-minute walk.
This place is called La Aguja.


In 1979 it was completely abandoned.
There was a big “palapa”.
A palm leaves roof on poles without any walls.
This palapa had been used for entertaining but was deserted for a long time.
About 10 years ago La Aguja was bought by an American couple and they have been developing it.
They had electricity come to La Aguja and last year had a well drilled and got official permission to pump up water.
At the dirt road side a wall was built and in a small house near the gate Ramon’s family is living.
Ramon is paid to guard and work on the property: the American couple is not there all the time.
Of course, Ramon has become a friend and each time a run is made to buy supplies in La Paz, urgent needs for his family are being taken care of.

As is the common practice, now that there is water and electricity, the American couple is dividing their property and selling lots.
Eventually it will be a resort.

It is a matter of years now before the first houses will be ready and people will start to live there.
It is a question though if they will like that.
There is a big difference between sales talk and actually living in a place like La Aguja.
There are many positive reasons to be there but some serious negatives as well.

For example, the nearest town is La Paz.
To go there one needs to drive for one hour on a dirt road partly in very bad shape: no ordinary car can negotiate it.
Next, it is another hour to La Paz on an asphalt road.
One is two hours away from the nearest shop.
But also two hours away from medical care and the church.
If one needs urgent life saving medical care, one will die at La Aguja.

Another negative is that from December/January until June/July a very strong northwestern wind blows.
It makes life a hell.
One cannot go to the beach because the salt and the sand get in the eyes and the ears and the body is pulled and pushed.
This wind drives crazy and this phenomenon occurs half of the year.

A very scaring and serious negative is that La Aguja is in a hurricane zone.
In late August temperatures reach over 35 degrees Centigrade (95 Fahrenheit) and the heat builds up.
The nights remain hot too.
This is the situation a hurricane might hit.
It happened last year on September 1st.
Hurricane John.
This photographer happened to be at El Triple on that day and experienced what it is to be in a hurricane.
It is an absolute nightmare and very, very dangerous.
One of the consequences of a hurricane is that so much rain comes down that all the land gets flooded.
Massive amounts of water, not being able to penetrate the hard earth, destroy all roads.
Last year, for one week it was impossible to get out of this area.
And then only with a 4x4 truck.

North of El Triple is another dry river bed where used to be a small rancho called “La Ballena”.
“La Ballena” is tomorrow’s subject of the posting.







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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The flower and the butterfly.

Currently in several places in the world international tribunals are having sessions handling cases of war crimes.
Men who were in a war and went to intolerable extremes.

There are two major treaties to limit the violence in wars.
The Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention.
Most civilised countries in the world have signed these agreements and know that if they do not stick to it, they commit war crimes and are punishable.

One of the weapons that is illegal to use, according to the Geneva Convention, is napalm.
If a country uses napalm, it commits a war crime.
The persons who decide to use this weapon are war criminals.

**********************

From the book “Cobra II: the inside story of the invasion and occupation of Iraq” written by Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor:

When the Marines arrived in Kuwait and unloaded the supply ships coming from Diego Garcia, they were pleasantly surprised to discover caches of Mark 77 bombs, or napalm.
Major General Jim “Tamer” Amos, the Marine air wing commander, thought it was as good as gold and shared his find with his fellow officers.

As Lieutenant General James Mattis focused on the Numaniyah bridges, he asked Amos if his warplanes could use the napalm and incinerate the enemy defences on the way to the Tigris.
“Sounds good to me”, Amos replied.

***********************************

There are persons who decide to have napalm bombs manufactured.
There are persons who manufacture napalm bombs.

There were people who decided to transport napalm bombs to Kuwait for use during the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

There were people who decided to actually use them.

All those persons know that the Convention of Geneva explicitly forbids the use of napalm bombs.
All those persons know they commit a war crime.
Making them a war criminal.


Major General Jim “Tamer” Amos



Lieutenant General James Mattis

A war tribunal would condemn all the responsible persons to long time prison terms.




The Convention of Geneva is basically an effort to stop barbarianism.

In the conscience of a barbarian there has never been an awareness and understanding of a butterfly visiting a flower.
How they are both totally different but managing to have a peaceful, harmonious and fruitful co-existence.


****************************************************

To become knowledgeable about the invasion and occupation of Iraq, read the fascinating and perplexing book:

"COBRA II. The inside story of the invasion and occupation of Iraq" by Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor.
ISBN 978-1-4000-7539-3
http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-II-Inside-Invasion-Occupation/dp/0375422625

To learn more about the Geneva Convention, click on:
http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/91.htm







.





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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Join the void.

When in a situation where hardly anything happens,

where one is all by oneself,

in peace and harmony,

a void opens.









This void is not emptiness.






It is a welcoming and safe space for every movement of the mind and the heart to enter.
To show itself as it is.

Without being chastised, criticized, classified or ridiculed.
Without being praised, valued or glorified.



The movement of the heart or the mind appears on the stage in the void and simply is there.
Disconnected from emotional responses.
It simply is.




Therefore, these days, memories are there of forgotten times.





They are not sweet.
They are not painful.
They are.
Like the waves of the ocean.













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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

About nothing.

Punta Marquez.



This location was discovered in 1979.
As a place where one could be close to nature.
Without any presence of other people and their civilization.

It is simply just the ocean, the beach and the desert.
It is the sun, the sky and the wind.
The night and the day.

In fact, this place is not called Punta Marquez at all.
Its name is El Triple.

The Fuso Szulc is parked now where former campers owned have been.
Having a 180 degrees view of the Pacific Ocean.

This is a place where nothing happens.

Except for changes in the weather.
One day there can be much wind.
One day it can be very warm.
One day there can be clouds in the sky.
Or no wind.
Or cool.
Or no clouds in the sky.



Except for changes with the tide of the ocean and the appearance of the moon.

Nothing happens except for the progress of a process inside.
The growing and evolving.
The better understanding of life.

Over the last 28 years so much time has been spend here.
Every aspect of nature and of reality at El Triple has been experienced and is known.
There is nothing new and different to experience.
Except for observing kindly the heart and the soul.
To see what is new and different there.
To explore more and more the vast reaches of the mind.



In order to have this process go effectively and productively, there is a specific way of living.
Living in a strict discipline aimed at physical well-being.
A mind is at its best when in a healthy body.

It is going to be a challenge to publish an interesting posting on this blog every day when in a situation where nothing happens.







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Monday, August 13, 2007

Free of frustrations.

In the centre of the town of Ciudad Constitucion, Baja California, Mexico, is a boulevard with two annex streets parallel to it.
The boulevard is the main highway.

Driving south on the annex street the intention was to turn left, cross the boulevard and get into town to go and see David Perez for fixing the failing Datastorm Satellite System.

In front of a traffic light waiting to turn left, a man came to the Fuso Szulc.
He said:
“Good morning.
You want to turn left but the street on the other side of the boulevard is a one-way street.
You can’t drive into that street.
You must go to the next crossing where you can turn left.”

The man was thanked.
Next, he reached out his hand to shake warmly.

That was a stunning experience and it was wondered in how many places on this earth people are that friendly.

It was also taken as a good sign for solving the problem with the Datastorm Satellite System.

David Perez is running an Internet place.
In a large space he has about 30 computers where people pay 5 Pesos (0,45 $ / 0,33 Euro) per hour for high speed Internet access.
For several years frequently David’s Internet place has been visited and friendly chats with him made.

David Perez suggested taking the router out of the Fuso Szulc to test it with one of his computers.
To see if the router was broken as the diagnosis of the HN 7000S was claiming.

The router seemed to work fine.

Next step was to check if the settings of the router were maybe corrupt.
To access the router on its IP-address was a problem.
First it was impossible.
But later somehow it worked.
All the settings were correct.

The router was put back into the Fuso Szulc and a new test was performed.

Because right next to the Fuso Szulc was a Unisex hair saloon it was decided to have a haircut.
While the lady was cutting away, from the large mirror it could be seen how the Datastorm disk moved up in search of the Satmex satellite.

As always, it went up, found something and went down in stored position.
A second try gave the same result.
The third time it went up, locked to the Satmex satellite and connection was established.
The system was working again.

The good news was communicated to David Perez who was as happy.
He charged nothing for his involvement.
He got a present instead.

Supplies were bought in a supermarket.
Fuel tank filled and off it was to Punta Marquez.





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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Frightening frustrations.

Two nights ago, in Guerrero Negro, a nice spot was found to spend the night.
Six kilometres (4 miles) out of town next to the old lighthouse.
Quiet and peaceful, overlooking the lagoon.

The Datastorm Satellite Disk was put up and soon the messages were streaming in.
That evening more communication through the Datastorm system was flowing.

However, the next morning, when switching on the Datastorm equipment, no contact with the satellite could be made.
Rather puzzling.
Why the evening before getting on the Internet with Datastorm was no problem?
While the next morning, the disk still in the same position, it was impossible?

The posting of the blog had to wait.
In a small town in the Vizacaino Desert a restaurant with WIFI was found and the posting put on the blog.

In the evening a nice place was found to spend the night.
El Juncalito at the Sea of Cortez.

Again, the Datastorm Satellite Disk was put up.
Unfortunately, no contact could be made with the satellite.
Every trick in the book was tried but to no avail.

The software is reporting TxCode 18.
“Transmitter requesting a transmit pointing test”.
And it stays in this mode for hours with no result.

When checking the Transmission Info, one can see that no transmissions were taking place.

It is impossible to know what is the problem.
Even to know if the problem is with the modem, the router or maybe even the satellite itself.

Meanwhile, this is all causing a serious problem.
Today it will be possible to reach Punta Marquez.
The place where it is planned to spend several weeks in retreat.
Not to see people.
Not to be in touch with society.
Living completely independently in the Fuso Szulc with the supply of propane, water and food.

But if the Datastorm Satellite System is not working anymore, there will be strong consequences.

One of which will be no more postings on the blog for some time to come.

This morning a stop will be made in Ciudad Constitucion.
First, a try will be made again to use the Datastorm Satellite System.
Depending of the result decisions will be made.

Several hours later.
In an Internet place annex shop.
The man who runs this place is an acquaintance for several years.
David Perez.


When checking the Datastorm Internet Satellite System just before getting into town, the same problem occurred.
The diagnosis of the system was that again it was the router.
Just like 6 weeks ago.

We have been testing the router and it is doing fine.
Now we will check the settings.

Ciudad Constitucion will not be left before the Datastorm Internet Satellite System is working.
It cannot be afforded to go to Punta Marquez and in retreat for several weeks without being able to get on the Internet.

Is this a frustrating experience?
Yes, it is.
It seems that there is a constant stream of technical problems coming this way.
One after the other.
It tires.
It wears out.
It stops from feeling happy.
There is no joy to be found in these kinds of experiences.

Another problem is still these horrible sounds coming from the front of the truck when turning slowly.
Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Dealer diagnosed it as coming from springs.
They oiled the springs and fasten the u-bolts.
But sorry to say, the problem insists.
Each time a slow turn is made, strong snapping sounds come from underneath.

Who knows what it is?
It can’t be the springs anymore…
Another frustration.

It can already be envisaged that living at Punta Marquez will be a great joy.
Only for having overcome the hurdles.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The inventor of the hoola hoop.

The journey went from San Quintin to Guerrero Negro.
Many hours of driving.
Going south and south and south.
Punta Marquez and everything it represents feeding the urge.
Pulling towards it.
Like the bee to the flower.
The sun to the horizon.
The rain to the earth.


The temperature difference between the Pacific coastal area and the mountains is between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. (26 and 37 degrees Centigrade)
On the other side of the mountains, at the Sea of Cortez, it is even warmer.

A stop to have lunch was made in Cataviña.
Some bread with cheese.
Some juice.
And an apple.

In Cataviña is an abandoned gasoline station.
As done before, the Fuso Szulc was parked underneath the roof in the cooler shadow.

A man was laying on a bunch of tires.
He said: “Hi, how are you?”
An American.
Wearing two pants.
Having a wild beard.
Not looking very clean.
Someone obviously very much lost in life.

He had some questions concerning the Fuso Szulc.
After he got the answers he was asked what he was doing there sleeping on tires in Cataviña.

He started telling an amazing story.
Years ago he had invented the hoola hoop.
And then the wash pin.
He gave a long list of inventions he was responsible for.
And the way he was telling it made one believe to have met some rare genius that by misfortune had ended up on a pile of tires in Cataviña.
He had also been in Europe where he had met Elvis Presley.
In fact he had written several of Elvis’ songs like “Ground hog”.
Later he had met The Beatles and wrote for them “We can work it out”.

It could not be avoided to eventually come to the conclusion:
“This man is mad”.

Curious how his mind would spin him out of the current miserable situation, when asked what he was doing here, he replied he was growing pineapples and watermelons nearby Cataviña for export to the USA.

In the end, literally everything the man had told was absurd and nonsense.
But he himself was absolutely convinced it was the truth.

After his long litany of unbelievable statements a moment of peace came.
He was told this:
“My friend.
We know you are a person we can tell you.
This is Johor speaking to you.
The representative of the planet Shikasta.”

He looked up and stared in the eyes for a long time.
The composure of Johor remained calm, wise and convincing.
He had nothing more to say and seemed to fall asleep on his bunch of tires.

It was a quiet lunch.
Reading the two days old New York Times newspaper.
When the temperature is a 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Centigrade) a cool apple kept in the fridge is so delicious.

When leaving, the inventor of the hoola hoop woke up.
He said:
“Hey man, can you spare me a Peso?”




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Friday, August 10, 2007

Mosquitoes can't make pictures.

The decision to not hang around for over 2 weeks to attend later this month the art festival “The Burning Man” near Reno, Nevada, USA felt as very wise and the most appropriate thing to do.

Supplies for the own use and for a La Paz friend were bought in Trader Joe’s, the most favoured shop for food in the USA.
And already while shopping the excitement of returning to Mexico and the specific life style experienced there was mounting to high levels.

Over the last weeks the lifestyle had been very determined by this assignment.
Places to travel to, people to meet, and work to do, were all decided by other powers.
Besides, an assignment comes with obligations of delivering the highest quality possible.
There is pressure and stress.
All that is enjoyed very much but up to a point.
Now that the assignment has been performed and all the images have been delivered there is a sensation of relief.
Of having regained the own life and the own freedom.

Crossing the border was an easy procedure.
The Mexicans have plenty of parking spaces at the border.
A friendly immigration officer checks the passport and hands out a document.
This needs to be filled in and at a nearby bank 24 $ (17,50 Euro) is paid.
Returned to the immigration officer he stamps the document and that’s it.
This is a visa to stay in Mexico for up to 6 months.

The road into Mexico goes first along the border.
On one side is the misery called Tijuana.
On the other side is the wall.



The first night on a campground next to the Pacific Ocean south of San Quintin.
It’s called “El Pabillon”.

Special is that for 100 Mexican Pesos (9 $, 6,60 Euros) included are showers with warm salty water.
Stopping the soap and shampoo from foaming.

And included are also the millions of mosquitoes.
Somehow these vicious creatures manage to get into the Fuso Szulc.
And disturb what should have been a peaceful night of sleep.

Fortunately repellent was on board and generously applied.
But it seemed these particular “El Pabillon” mosquitoes liked the stuff.
It didn’t stop them.
To the contrary.
Many more were imagined to circle above the body filled with delicious blood.

A new strategy was applied because as a human being one cannot allow to be a victim of tiny mosquitoes.
What is a mosquito compared to a photographer?
It can’t even hold a camera in its feet like a monkey can.

The new strategy, and it is considered to have it patented, is to open all the windows and doors and roof vents as wide as possible.
This allows all mosquitoes in the neighbourhood to come in.
But it also allows them to go out.

Because it has been observed that once mosquitoes are inside, at one point they want to go outside again.
They even kind of panic when they can’t get out anymore.

After opening all windows and doors and roof vents one gets under the sheet of the bed and covers the whole body.
This includes the head.
However, a small opening is made to have the nose stick out.
This to be able to breath fresh air.

It is a 100 % effective method.
One can actually hear and feel the totally frustrated mosquitoes circle above the target.
One can feel them think that they realize they can’t get at the blood and decide to try their luck somewhere else.
They fly out of the window again.

This was how the night was spent.
Completely covered by a sheet and laughing at the frustrated mosquitoes.
But there were also very weird dreams.





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Thursday, August 9, 2007

The burning burried.

At Kearny Mesa Truck Centre in San Diego, California, USA, Mitsubishi Fuso mechanics go back to school every year.
To get up to date training.
That’s why they are highly skilled.

Mechanic John listened carefully to what the problem was.
Banging noises coming from the front axle when making curves at low speed.
Trembling of truck cabin when at speeds higher than 50 miles.
Strong pulling of the steering wheel to the right.

He asked for a test drive and when getting out of the Kearny Mesa Truck Centre turning right on the road the strong banging noise could be heard.

Immediately mechanic John knew what it was.
The springs!!!
And indeed, it turned out that the u-bolts holding the springs to the front axle were slightly loose.
They were tightened and the springs greased and that took care of the problem.
A great relief on all sides because nobody wanted to experience serious problems with the differential of the front axle as was previously thought.

The company was called to do the alignment again.
It was 15 mm (0,6 inch) off and it could not be explained exactly why that was.
Maybe because of the loose nuts of the U-bolts?
Or maybe the nuts of the U-bolts got loose because the alignment was off?
Some hours later the crew arrived and the alignment was made once more.

It took a day but now the Fuso Szulc is back in shape and ready to travel.

Next, the decision had to be made how to plan for the coming weeks.
Originally the idea was to return to Punta Marquez and make more conceptual photography.
But then this art festival “The Burning Man” came up and a consideration to go to.
A big question what to decide where to go.

The major issue is that “The Burning Man” starts on August 28.
19 days from now.
It takes 3 days to drive to the location near Reno, Nevada.
Leaves a gap of 16 days.
It seems not possible to make those 16 days productive one way or the other.
This is because of the time of the year.
If not close to the coast, inland it is steaming hot.
And along the coast it is overcrowded.

It is essential to make days productive.
It is impossible to simply do nothing.
Life must be a river, not a pond.

Another consideration is that it’s expensive to go to “The Burning Man”.
It is about 1.500 miles to drive.
Up and down.
Over 600 $ of diesel.
And “The Burning Man” asks an entrance fee of 280 $.

A most important and vital aspect is that it’s not free to just make pictures at “The Burning Man”.
One needs a special permit.
Coming with a long list of obligations and responsibilities.
The idea that one can simply walk around and make pictures is wrong.
Each camera needs to be registered and tagged.
And each photographer needs to register, a long and complicated procedure, and hope to obtain permission.
This aspect plays a very important role in the deciding process.

Last consideration is that the idea of visiting “The Burning Man” was to go with a certain person.
That person can’t come.

Conclusion, this year no visit to “The Burning Man”.
And it’s off to Mexico.

Like last year, it is a return to the beaches of the Pacific Coast near Punta Marquez in Mexico.
Where new conceptual work can be made.
A book and exhibition of this new work is planned for next year and to have enough works to choose from, a lot more must be made.
This is a more urgent matter than to go to art-festivals with limitations on making pictures.






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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Flying forewards.

The photo session with Terry Tamminen in the garden of his beautiful house in Santa Monica was short and powerful.
The man has been in publicity often so to be portrayed is no big deal for him.
Using a silver screen to have soft, beautiful light on his face and with a curtain of bamboo in the background it needed not too many pictures to get the right one.

It turned out that Terry Tamminen was able to speak in the language of the Netherlands.
Because in the 70’s he had been working there for 6 months.
Amazing he learned in 6 months this complicated language and remembered it until today.
Fortunately he had also kept the Dutch habit of offering the visitor a good cup of coffee.

Next stop was Santek Trailers in Riverside, California, USA.
It was good to see all the friends at Santek again although Paul Westphal, the owner and manager was on holidays.
At Santek Trailers works one of the most beautiful women in the USA who has also this heart of gold Neil Young among others was looking for.
And the crew, todos Mexicanos, are very cordial chaps.
It is true that the Fuso Szulc needed to return to Santek Trailers three times now to fix issues.
Most of those issues are the result of the fact that it is a custom build vehicle and it is normal it needs them to be ironed out.
What is the most important though is that Santek Trailers gives this 100 % service.
All issues are fixed, no matter what.

This time the connection between camper box and chassis was further sophisticated.
The wiring of the back-up camera fixed and the roof-switch of the Fantastic Fan replaced.

Dinner was with dear friends John and Beverly in Temecula after serious shopping in Target.
A screened pavilion was purchased for 56 $.
The idea is that when working on location in Mexico soon, the temperatures will be too high at night to sleep inside the Fuso Szulc.
Next to the Fuso Szulc the screened pavilion will be erected to sleep inside on a cot bed.

Today the Fuso Szulc returns to its dealer in San Diego.
Kearny Mesa Truck dealer.
Over the last weeks a problem has developed in the front axle.
According to manager Ron Lucero of Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi it seems this is because a mechanic didn’t put additive to the differential of the front axle during the last oil change.
In Baxter the Mitsubishi truck dealer has corrected this and after a short time the problem, friction inside the axle and wheel bearings, disappeared.
But as of then the truck doesn’t drive as it used to do.
Still, when making sharp curves at low speed, the friction and snaps and bangs happen again.
Second, at speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour the whole front of the truck starts vibrating and shaking from left to right.
And the truck pulls heavily to the right when not holding the steering wheel.
Today the experts of Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi will have a look and it is unpredictable what will be the diagnosis.
And how long the solving of this issue will take.

This creates a limbo.
The assignment for the magazine has been accomplished.
Now the heart longs to return to Punta Marquez in Mexico to go into retreat for some months and work on new conceptual photography.
But there are also the friends who are asking to come to the art festival “The Burning Man”.
However, that takes place on August 29 and the question is what to do and where to stay during the next weeks if deciding to attend “The Burning Man”.
Conceptual photography could be made on locations in for example the Mojave Desert but this time of year it is simply too hot.
While along the coast in California it is overcrowded.

No decision can be made and for the moment it is left up to life to let happen what needs to happen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

It's the IRS gdmt.

Overwhelmed, disabilitated and sabotaged by the seizure of the bank account, it is warming the heart to learn that one is in fact surrounded by family and friends sharing and supporting.
It gives hope that this devastating situation will not last long and that in a short time the powers of good will conquer the powers of bad.

Last night, at 2 am, was the opportunity to call with the personal account manager of the ABN-AMRO bank in the Netherlands.
At 2 am, in the middle of the night, because of the time difference with Europe.
This account manager, Jan Geerling, is a friend and with him the love for photography is shared.
Besides, Jan Geerling is an Elvis Presley impersonator.


This is highly admired because Jan Geerling doesn’t look like Elvis at all.
It is easy to go on stage in front of lots of people when a person looks exactly like Elvis.
But to do so when there is hardly a resemblance, that is courage.
Most remarkable of Jan Geerling is that he is also an excellent banker.

It is most inconvenient to have to wake up in the middle of the night to make a phone call about business and trouble and complications.
And the news Jan Geerling of the ABN-AMRO Bank was reporting was stunning and surprising.
It is not the GUP Gallery at all seizing the bank account.
It is the Internal Revenue Service of the Netherlands.

That puts everything in a different perspective.
The whole presumption that it was the GUP Gallery was wrong.

It is a big question why the IRS of the Netherlands would seize this bank account.
There are no legal obligations to pay taxes in the Netherlands.
Fortunately, a good friend in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is an accountant.
He used to do the bookkeeping when having the business in the Netherlands.
Last night, also with him was a phone conversation and he is going to contact the IRS to find out.

In one hour is the photo session with Terry Tamminen.
One of the leading authorities on environment, energy and sustainability.

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To learn more about Terry Tamminen, click on:
http://www.terrytamminen.com/

To learn more about the Elvis impersonator Jan Geerling, click on:
http://www.indebanvandeking.nl/







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Monday, August 6, 2007

The Spanish thief.

Many fervent and loyal blog readers will remember the Spanish Princess.
How she had come to sit gloriously on the throne but dramatically fell off it by her own insincere and dishonest doing.
It was the story of her being involved with this photographer and planning to travel together to admit just before taking off that all the time she had been with another guy in spite of having declared she had quit with him.

Yesterday a shocking discovery was made.
For the first time in more than three weeks, through Internet banking, the balance on the personal bank account was checked.
To discover to utter surprise that the bank account was seized by the Dutch judicial authority.
The bank account in limbo.
Impossible to get money out.
Impossible to use the credit card.

The background of this unpleasant and inconvenient situation is that last year a picture made by the Spanish Princess was purchased at the HUP Gallery in Amsterdam.
The gallery representing her work.
However, that gallery failed to finalise the purchase properly and with the Spanish Princess in agreement a letter was send to the HUP Gallery that the purchase was cancelled.
And next the picture was bought directly from the Spanish Princess.
She received the money, 1.800 Euros (2,500 $) and delivered the picture to a photography collection of a University in Holland it was donated to.

However, some months later, and after the Spanish Princess had fallen from her throne, the HUP Gallery contacted the buyer saying they wanted their 1.800 Euros.

First the Spanish Princess herself and next the HUP Gallery were informed that the money was paid.
That the Spanish Princess had received the money directly and that the HUP Gallery had to contact her to get their 50 % share.

The HUP Gallery called the Spanish Princess but she bluntly denied she had ever received any money for the purchase.
Obviously she was lying to avoid having to pay half of the 1.800 Euros to the Gallery.
The HUP Gallery returned and claimed that the money was never paid to the Spanish Princess.
Now the buyer was made by the Spanish Princess into the one lying.
However, there were bank papers clearly showing she was paid and the picture was delivered by herself to the curator of the photo-collection of the University.
The HUP Gallery confronted the Spanish Princess with these facts and this time she admitted she had received money but that it had been for something else.

The HUP Gallery decided they didn’t want to get involved in all this and simply stuck to a kind of agreement signed at the moment of purchase.
While the buyer obviously recommended the HUP Gallery that their money had to be obtained from the Spanish Princess.

Eventually the HUP Gallery involved an usher and without any letters or requests simply seized the bank account of this buyer.

All this will result now in a court case and most likely it cannot be won.
This will mean that the picture of the Spanish Princess has to be paid for a second time and half of that money goes to her.
She will make 1.800 + 900 = 2.700 Euros (3,800 $)

This whole situation exists because the Spanish Princess lies.
Operates as a thief.
She denies she received any money for that picture.
If she would tell the truth and pay the Gallery their 50 %, there would be no problem.

This is a most unfortunate and rather traumatic experience.
Besides the inconvenience as no money can be used from the bank account for some time to come.

Fervent and loyal blog readers are invited to respond and recommend what is the best strategy in this matter.

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To learn more about the HUP Gallery, click on:
http://www.hupgallery.com/








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