Thursday, December 30, 2010

Announcement

For the time being, no new postings will be published on this blog anymore.



Blog readers that are fervent and loyal may expect an important message as a posting on this blog on January 7, 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 makes think













Checking the sitemeter of this blog, the data is found that on average 99 persons a day visit this site.
And that the amount of people , as can be seen on the chart "This year's visits by month" is stable.
It remains more or less the same.

The conclusion is the blog is not growing in popularity.
That is a knowledge that does not help the motivation needed each day to publish another story.
In a few days a new year will come and now are many moments of considerations whether to continue the effort of publishing every day a story on this blog.
Maybe 2011 should be the year of starting a complete different activity that will be fun also but reaching more people?
Two more days to contemplate and make a decision.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Running into pain

Yesterday the running time was 1 hour, 24 minutes and 35 seconds.
The ambition is to run before the year ends 1 hour and 30 minutes.
This must be possible.
There are four days left to achieve this epic result of running.

Because probably the running is so frequent, the body starts to give signals.
Or these signals should be understood as warnings.
Like yesterday the whole evening there was cramp in the left foot.
And the hamstrings are painful when sitting in a chair.

Logic and smartness would dictate to carefully listen and respect to these warnings and to lower the frequency of running.
Not every day anymore but for example only a few times a week.
But this is not in line with the ambition burning in the body.
The need to run every day and to perform is so immense and dominant that it can not be pushed aside.

For the moment the warnings of the muscles are ignored although it is playing with fire.
As it could result in long lasting harm to the body.
But it is this possible achievement of one hour and a half non stop running that is dangling in front all the time.
It could happen tomorrow or in two days.
And then frequency and distance can be moderated.

Will it happen?


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Monday, December 27, 2010

Huge Hughes



Today a Russian Proton rocket was launched successfully from the space center of Baikonoer in Kazachstan carrying the Ka-Sat satellite.
It was safely put in orbit and this satellite will be operational in four months.

The Ka-Sat satellite was build by the European company Astrium and has a capacity equal to 40 TV-satellites.
It will serve over 1 million households in Europe with high speed internet connections.



The Ka-Sat satellite is owned by the European communication company Eutelsat.
It has a height of 6 meters (20 feet) and its wingspan is over 40 meters (131 feet).
This satellite costs 350 million Euros. (460 million $)

In the USA are several companies offering internet access through a satellite connection.
Hughes Network Systems is one such company having over one million customers.
It uses different satellites but no matter how, it is by now an outdated system with low transmission speeds.
But worse is the policy of Hughes towards their customers.
It is driven by hunger for profit no matter what.
It si capitalism at its worst.
Check for example the Consumer Affairs website for Hughes Network Systems for the most horrific stories.
Where people write things like:

How many individual complaints reporting the same problems with this company does it take to get a response from Consumer Affairs or The Federal Trade Commission? Does Hughesnet have a loophole within the law that makes it okay to falsely advertise, compromise the privacy of their customers and real them in with false claims of "Special Promotions" that offer free installation and equipment, that not even a month into service you are billed $ 495.82 for?

Or

One of their commercials used to make fun of DSL, saying it stood for dismally slow line. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We installed DSL just yesterday and it is wonderful. Probably 10 times as fast and a lot cheaper and no fair access policy, which is only a way to rip people off. I hope I hear of a class action lawsuit against them because I can't wait to get involved. I don’t really believe in lawsuits but these people are crooks and they need to be put out of business. Please Please Please stay away from them.

Or

I have had 5 years of the worst internet service. I have called HughesNet over 200 times. The customer service is outsourced to India as are all of US Companies. The signal and bandwith is terrible and is not High speed service as advertised. On its best day it is a hair better than dial up. The modem has to be restarted several times a day in order to try to get a connection.

Or

This has got to be the worst company in history. They are nothing but crooks who oversell their own product and pass the shoddy end product on to their customers who are forced to accept it without recourse. I really never thought of mental anguish before dealing with Hughesnet, now I know why it is a factor in lawsuits. Hughesnet needs to be forced by law to uphold their contracts with their customers who presently have no voice whatsoever. A class action lawsuit is the only way I can see where they can be made to account for their actions.

For now there is only the knowledge that it is a temporary matter.
Logic and history learns that in the future Internet will be everywhere at high speed.
And hopefully private companies will not be allowed anymore to be involved in this type of public services.

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

Check:
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/internet/hughes.html



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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Running over one hour



19 December 2010 45 minutes
20 December 2010 50 minutes
21 December 2010 55 minutes
22 December 2010 1 hour and 2 minutes
23 December 2010 1 hour and 7 minutes
24 December 2010 1 hour and 11 minutes
25 December 2010 1 hour and 19 minutes

For months there was daily running at El Triple on the Pacific coast of Baja California.
Hence, this continued at Punta Boca del Salado on the Sea of Cortez coast.
Not on the beach but on the hilly dirt road that connects the rancho of the Gonzales family with the town of San Jose del Cabo.

And as has happened before at this location the ambition finds the way to flourish.
Because every day the distance to run is extended.
The first day at Punta Boca del Salado it was 45 minutes and yesterday 1 hour and 19 minutes.

The target is to be able to run 1,5 hour non stop before the end of the year.

Now, we may ask, why is this?
What sense does this make?

Usually in this blog there are convincing answers to even complicated questions, but why there is this daily running becoming longer and longer is inexplicable.
Because it is not more than simply fun.
It gives a great feeling.
And the body becomes strong and the health better.
Nothing more to it.

But is it not a little excessive?
To run over one hour a day?
Maybe a little neurotic?
Pathetic even?
Well, feel free to think about it what you prefer.
It is done from happiness and pleasure and anything else doesn’t fit to label it.

Recently in La Paz there was the hunt for new running shoes as the old ones had cracked soles and the flexibility gone.
The search was for a specific running shoe called the “all terrain”.
This shoe has a sole with better grip for running on dirt roads.
Now, using classic running shoes, often the foot slips away, especially when running up the hill.
The loose sand is not steady enough.

This kind of "all terrain"-shoe is in La Paz not for sale.
But a dear friend is now in Canada and soon coming back to Mexico and bringing a pair of all terrain running shoes more fit for the Punta Boca dirt road.
Making the daily half marathons even a greater pleasure.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Xmas xtra



Christmas Eve with the Gonzales.

As informal as it can be.
The women cooking a delicious meal.
But exceptionally the dinner is not served in the kitchen but on the big table in what could be considered their salon.

Who wants, joins and eats.
One or two though go to sleep.
Some eat later.
Nobody is dressed up.
There is nothing alcoholic.

But by gosh, they do have a good time together.
They don’t have much money and they don’t live in wealth but they are warm and caring for each other.

More and more Gumaro is the head of the family.
At 61 years of age he is the oldest now.
And highly respected.

The children are helping as much as they can.
Making the table, serving the food, cleaning the table.
And not one adult has to ask them.

At the end of the dinner there are presents.
Although it’s hard to earn money and not much comes in, the children all do get presents.
For some reason, the daughter of Christina called after her grandmother Lucretia, gets proportionally a lot of presents.
She gets actually pampered and why is this?
The other children though seem to know because not one is showing envy.

The dinner over and the presents unwrapped, they sit down comfortably and Norma prepares a whiskey soda for her father, for her uncle and for her brother.
And soon that makes the conversation lively.
Especially because Gumaro, when he is in the mood and Christmas and whiskey helps in that matter, starts talking: he is a great story teller.
Stories from his childhood: how his mother secretly dressed up as the devil to scare her children out in the field not to play in a laguna for fear of drowning.
The story has been told on different occasions but still tears come from Gumaro’s eyes as it makes him still laugh from his heart.
And everybody around him laugh with him: not so much for the story anymore but for seeing Gumaro so happy again.

This is Christmas in optima forma.
People together in peace and harmony: happy and content with each other.







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Friday, December 24, 2010

A child is an extra dimension

Christmas is a good time at the rancho of the Gonzales family at Punta Boca del Salado in Baja California, Mexico.
This is for one reason only.
All the children of the large family are there.
And this brings a liveliness to the place that makes feel joy, hope and bliss.

Twice a day they want “classos”.
That we all sit around the table under the big palmtree leaved roof.
Each child having a piece of paper and a pen.
On top of the paper they write their name, the date and draw a large box.
This box serves to note the stars they are going to make when having accomplished the challenges successfully.

They chose themselves what subject they want: English, Spanish, mathematics, drawing.
And they chose themselves how many stars they have earned for the job they did.

What makes this teaching so interesting is to try to give as much independence to the child as possible.
It is absolutely authoritative to decide for a child how good or how bad the result of working is.
The child knows this very well and can decide him/herself how much should be awarded.
And the child should chose what it wants to do.
There are moments a child is for example more ready and in the mood to do mathematics.
Then why impose to want to teach English?

Another vital aspect to the teaching that makes it so interesting and such a joy is that children remain interested and eager to learn if the challenges are presented to them each time in a new and different way.
This asks creativity and inventiveness of the teacher.
The rule is, the more of this is put into it, the more will come out.
So, in fact the children are teaching the teacher also.
To be creative and inspiring.

Never a session with the children is ended without telling them:
muchas gracias, estudiantes.
And this is sincere because the children are adding a fantastic dimension to life.



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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The vanishing farmer

What makes any person think is the fact this blog reported on yesterday.
That Gumaro Gonzales in Punta Boca del Salado, Baja California, Mexico bought a 1997 Ford F250 pick up truck for $ 10.000 by exchanging it for a piece of his land.



According to the "Internet Autoguide" the retail value of this vehicle is about $ 6.000 but that is in the USA.
So the issue is not whether Gumaro Gonzales payed 66% too much for his new truck.
Many second hand cars are brought from the USA into Mexico because they do better prices here.

The issue we may want to look at is that Gumaro Gonzales was not able to pay with money for his new car.
In a normal economy a person works and makes money.
In a good economy a person makes more than he actually needs and this we call prosperity.
The financial flourishing makes the economy do better because the surplus is spend on purchasing new products.

In an economy that is doing well Gumaro Gonzales would be able to sell his cows to the butcher for such a good price that after a while he has enough cash to buy his new car.
Illustrating the economy is exploding.

But we live in a time of an imploding economy.
The price the butcher pays for meat to the supplier is so low these days that the ranchero cannot make money.
In fact, like this year when hardly any rain fell in the area where Gumaro Gonzales has his ranch and cattle, he needs to buy extra food to keep his cows alive and because of the high cost of this extra food and the low price the meat does his business is losing money.

A farmer that has to sell his land to operate his business, is a vanishing farmer.
Especially when the money that his land represents is spend on a car.
The vehicle will last only a certain amount of time and eventually end up in the junk yard.
Then the land is gone and the truck too, leaving Gumaro Gonzales with nothing.

To escape this dramatic destiny is to operate the new car in a way that it will assist in making money.
That it becomes instrumental in financial flourishing.
But this is not very likely to happen.
Because Gumaro Gonzales is a ranchero raising cattle and he will not and cannot change his trade.
He depends of the circumstances like the price of meat and the meteorological conditions.

However, the man who traded a $ 6.000 truck for a piece of land worth $ 10.000 might sell this later with profit.
Or build a holiday house on the land to sell this for big money to some tired retiree.
We live in a society these days in which some can still make money.
But a majority, who work in a traditional way, are slowly pushed out of prosperity and into economic misery.

But for the moment, Gumaro Gonzales is very happy and proud with his new car.





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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy for a truck

These days dear friend Gumaro Gonzales is a happy man.
He got himself a new car.
And he is very proud of it.

He bought the impressive vehicle through a friend who knows an American that brought the car down to Mexico.
It is a Ford F250, with a diesel engine, from 1997 and has 150.000 miles on the clock.

Gumaro paid $ 10.000 for the truck.
Not having cash money because the economy is doing so badly in Mexico, he traded a piece of land he owned to purchase the car.

It is a beautiful pick-up truck and still in very good shape.














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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Punishing psychologists

Yesterday the subject came by on this blog of treating deeply disturbed persons that commit horrific crimes in special psychiatric institutions.
More particularly, the role of experts that treat these unfortunate mentally disturbed persons in making the decision that society has nothing to fear of them anymore to set them free.
To assess that a murderer will not murder again.
A huge responsibility because when it goes wrong, someone dies.
Until now these experts work without ever to pay any price in case they were wrong.
They can conclude a killer won’t kill anymore and allow the person to return to society as if nothing has happened.
When this goes wrong, the expert is not fired.
The expert can even simply continue his job.

This is not a good situation.
If in this kind of work to be right or to be wrong doesn’t personally matter, we may doubt always the best decisions are made.

Therefore we must develop a system that the experts get personally involved when deciding to release a mentally disturbed person who has already killed.
To be sure they don’t take decisions that may cost the lives of others.
Like pilots in a plane.
They try always to make the best decisions and do not take risks not only for the safety of the passengers but to stay alive themselves.

The question now is what repercussion we can think of to have the experts in mental institutions housing lunatic killers work more safe for the society.

The solution is simple.
Experts that work in special psychiatric institutions where crazy killers are locked up and who decide to let one go because they believe he is OK now, will have two fingers amputated when the mentally disturbed person kills again in spite of the diagnosis that he is sane and safe.

Fervent and loyal blog readers may ask why two fingers?
Why not three fingers or the whole hand as they do in Sudan and Saudi Arabia?
Two fingers because it is a serious handicap but not too bad.
One can continue to work, blow the nose and eat a sandwich.
And such an expert has 5 options for making a mistake before to have lost all fingers which will be a most serious matter.

We can be sure that an expert who has to decide if a mentally disturbed person who has killed can be set free and return to society will think twice before to let the guy go if he realizes that in case it goes wrong he will lose two of his fingers.

Now someone in the back of the room may stand up and say that experts will become so prudent that hardly any crazy convict will be set free anymore.
That this may result in having persons locked up that could very well return to society no problem.
That is indeed very unfortunate but the other side of the coin is the story of yesterday: a guy who killed his mother and was set free by experts within a few years after this unbelievable crime to immediately murder a 77 year old man.
We must then balance the death of the 77 year old man with the suffering of the person who is locked up.
What is the worst ?
Would you care more for the locked up person and risk to be killed?
Is having to remain in a mental institution more serious then to be innocently murdered?

Right in front there is another person saying that amputating fingers is cruel, barbaric and uncivilized.
This is not true.
First of all, the amputation of the two fingers is a threat.
It will not happen when the expert is doing a good job.
Second, there are many jobs where losing one’s fingers is a daily danger.
Like carpenters and workers on oil platforms and in the metal industry.
So, losing fingers is a professional risk.
For a carpenter if he doesn’t pay good attention to what he is doing, then why not also for psychologists deciding a mentally disturbed person who killed can join us again?



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Monday, December 20, 2010

He killed his mother

It happened 10 years ago.
The man was 36 years old at the time.
He killed his mother.

Soon after this horrific crime he was arrested and brought to justice.
Because of the peculiarity of the killing, he was diagnosed as mentally deeply confused and locked up in a special psychiatric hospital.

There, he was not free.
It was like a prison and he was undergoing all kinds of therapies as he was considered a sick man.

After a few years in this special psychiatric clinic and after intensive therapy, the psychological specialists came to the conclusion there was no danger this man would kill again.
He was set free.

Four years ago, as a free person, this man went to a meeting place for homosexuals.
He met there a 77 year old man and he killed him.

Soon after he was arrested and brought to justice once more.
Yesterday he was condemned to 15 years in prison after which he needs to return to the special psychiatric clinic.

The psychological experts now say that the danger this man may kill again is extremely high.
A diagnosis 180ยบ opposite from what they said not too long ago.

Alfredo Gonzales of Rancho Punta Boca del Salado has a dog called Guante.
This dog is nice and friendly but he has a habit of running after goat or young cows to attack them, bite them in the neck and suck their blood till they are death.
Losing a goat or a young cow means for Alfredo Gonzales losing money.
He could kill Guante the dog as he is no use for the rancho and only creating havoc.
There is no way to change Guante: somehow he is just like that.
Because Alfredo Gonzales is a nice man he didn’t shoot Guante but keeps him tied to a long chain.
The dog can run up and down for 20 meters and that is the best he can get in life.
To keep the goats and young cows safe.

The mother of the man, he killed her.
To be a psychological expert and to conclude within a few years of this horrific crime the man is OK again and will not kill anymore is a daring decision.
And in a way an easy decision because when it is the wrong one, there are no consequences for the psychological expert.
Some new person may be killed, but never the psychological expert.
Nor will he get punished in any way for doing a lousy job.

Alfredo Gonzales is never thinking after Guante the dog has been chained for two years it may be time to have him roam the property again.
Because if he is wrong in his assessment of the dog, it is gonna cost him a goat or a young cow.

Hence, in the name of the 77 year old man that was murdered by the guy who was supposed to be mentally stable again, we should stop giving unlimited credit to the psychological experts responsible for a completely wrong diagnosis.
Stop giving them the opportunity to get away with their failure.
Because in a way they are murderers too.
A sanction must come for these psychological experts in case they are so badly wrong.
That somehow they must pay a price as well.
To make them more prudent.

Because it is better a murderer, who once killed his own mother, remains locked up although he may not kill again, then to take the risk and see the life of an innocent person ended.



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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nazis in caves

When more and more Nazis in the Third Reich began to realize that the war would be lost, they prepared for the very different time to come.
A selected group of them were very idealistic and believed strongly in Nazism and wanted somehow to continue to practize the ideology.
To have it survive so that one day it could glory again.

Therefore deep in the South of Germany, in a mountainous area, they prepared a huge underground complex of caves with an entrance only a few people knew about for them to live and survive in.

At the right moment, in 1945, a large group of Nazis disappeared into these underground caves and continued a secret life.
They were never coming up to the surface anymore.
The men were self sufficient and because of the deprivation got deeper and deeper into their ideology.
Nazism developing in something stronger than an orthodox religion.

Several of the men were scientists and they realized that they did not really have a future underground.
Eventually they all would die and that would be the end of their beloved Nazism as well.
The solution they saw was to try to achieve eternal life.
That living would not end and that they could be in those caves as Nazis together for ever and ever.

All activities of these men became centered on extending life.
Avoiding to die.

There would have been a more natural and easy solution.
Raiding parties could have left the caves to look for women living in villages nearby to bring them back to breed children.
To have new generations of Nazis living in the subterranean spaces.

But the world outside did not exist anymore in the minds of the hiding Nazis.
Their view had turned completely inside.

Recently, by accident, the entrance to this complex of caves has been found.
And the result of the scientific work to create eternal life was discovered.
Surprisingly, the Nazi scientists had achieved something.

In different caves Nazi officers were standing.
In uniform and straight up.
Even talking when approached but they were Nazi slogans only.
Just permanently standing there as puppets and only able to say things from their Nazi ideology.

They were not dead but one could not say they were alive either.

The German officials have not made this discovery public.
They left everything as it was and have sealed off the entrance to the caves.




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Friday, December 17, 2010

Tax Dollar Paradise

The United States is the best country to live in.
Because the Government is absolutely insane.
Due to overspending the United States has a national debt now of 1.300 billion Dollars.
The US politicians have been spending like lunatics over the last years.
And liberating the financial markets in such a way that now the whole world is in an economic crises and suffering.

What is the solution to this serious problem?
In Greece and Ireland the same situation has occurred.
Their Governments have also been spending more money than was coming in.
Financing it by borrowing until the debt became too big and bankruptcy of the whole country was threatening.
The solution to this dramatic problem has been found in other European countries helping Ireland and Greece out by re-financing their debts.
But with the conditions that Ireland and Greece take strict and severe austerity measures.
Stop spending like idiots and raise taxes.

The USA takes another direction to solve their huge economic problems.
Instead of settling more favorably the debts, start charging higher taxes and limit spending seriously, the United States starts spending an extra 858 billion Dollars.
This was approved by the Senate yesterday.
Americans will pay lower taxes and this also for the rich, the very rich and the ultra rich.
In fact, the US Government starts subsidizing their citizens to the amount of 858 billion Dollars.
Inflating the national debt with 66 %.
The idea behind it is that when the US citizens have more money to spend the economy will start rolling coasting again.
There are two problems with this expectation that is an illusion.
The current economic crises has made most people afraid and scared.
They have learned the hard way it is better not to buy and spend like crazy customers but to save for a rainy day.
When the tax reduction results in more money in the pocket, most may go to savings account doing nothing for the economy.
The other problem, and a much more fundamental and serious one, is that the politicians envisage a future where we will be back like it was in 80’s and 90’s.
People making good money and spending like there was no end to it.
The consumer society in optima forma.
Capitalism and materialism and selfishness and unawareness about what is the cost to nature and the environment.
For the short term the USA may be economically the best country to live.
But it is heading for financial catastrophe.




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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The dark side of life

Dear friend Xavier whose 16 year old son is karate champion in his class of the Americas took the Fuso Szulc to a specialized place where they fix air conditioning systems of cars and trucks.
The place was called “Kiki” because the sympathetic owner’s name is Enrique.

The Fuso Szulc has behind the grill on the front a connection for hoses to measure the pressure in the air conditioning system.
These hoses were applied and Enrique looked at the gauges to see what was happening.

His first diagnosis was that the system was leaking.
The pressure was too low.
And if the pressure is too low, the air conditioner is not working.

It looked the Fuso Szulc was on an infuse.
Being sick and weak and needing nutritious fluids.
After having safely negotiated the traveller for many miles on merciless roads.

Kiki used a same method when there might be a gas-leak in the house.
Water mixed with washing powder applied with a brush on the connections of the pipe.
And indeed, a tiny leak was found where a pipe entered the small AC radiator.
This was opened and a small rubber ring was found and replaced.
No more leaking.
The AC system was filled with gas again, brought to the correct pressure, the engine started and the AC switched on.
Nothing…
The compressor not working.

Kiki’s new diagnosis: your compressor is broken.
Of a four year old truck that had the AC system used very seldom.

Great!
Besides the trouble with the registration of the truck with the DMV in South Dakota, now the compressor has entered the portfolio labeled: “The dark side of life”.

The compressor broken is one thing, getting it replaced is another matter.
There are no Mitsubishi Fuso trucks sold and therefore maintained and serviced in Mexico.
No parts are available.
Kiki said, drive to the USA and have it fixed.

The good news about the bad news is that driving the Fuso Szulc with a broken AC compressor is no problem.
Instead the windows are opened and fresh air enters the cabin.
The old fashioned way that is even more fuel efficient.
For the moment, the broken AC system can be put out of the mind.

And an effort must be made to eliminate also the annoyance.
It annoys that a four year old truck, that was on one location not moving most of the time and therefore had its AC system work rarely, gets a broken compressor.
Besides, when it was working it hardly was able to cool the cabin and many times complains have been filed at the Mitsubishi dealer in San Diego.
Who said each time that nothing was the matter with the AC system…

But in Mexico the sky is blue and the sun is shining and today is a beautiful drive through the mountains called the Sierra de la Laguna to go and live the coming weeks with the dear friends the Gonzales family next to the Sea of Cortez.
That prospect warms the heart and for that warmth no AC is needed.



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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A warm heart

In the body is a heart that beats and makes the blood circulate.
But we also believe it can change of temperature.
We can get a cold heart and a warm one.
This is when things happen around us.
Or because of what people do to us.

Yesterday the heart was being warmed tremendously.
Many responses, also by personal e-mail, were received because of the complications with the registration of the Fuso Szulc in the USA.
In South Dakota they have changed the law and now to change one’s address or to renew the vehicle registration one needs to have a Social Security number.
That so many fervent and loyal blog readers are concerned warms the heart and feels like having support, concern and solidarity.
Therefore many thanks to all of you and to the South Dakota law makers.

Another heart warming experience yesterday was the interview with the Colombian radio station “W Radio”.
Very nice people and truly interested in the subject and the project.
For sure many free books will now go to listeners of “W Radio” who request a copy from the website http://www.themostbeautifulpeople.org

What is truly warming the heart are messages that are received from people who now have the book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” .
Spontaneously, enthusiastic, like this one yesterday:

“BRAVO ¡ GREAT MASTER ¡ just got the book .Just BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLL ¡¡¡¡REALLY PROUD OF YOU AND TOUCHED BY YOUR PROJECT …..”


Today the heart might be warmed or might catch a cold: the air conditioning of the Fuso Szulc is broken and together with dear friend Xavier an expert in fixing truck AC’s will be visited.
To see what is the problem and if it can be repaired.

On the way therefore...



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Is there a helpful lawyer among us?

It is more than painful to have to rip oneself away from a location where such a happy time has been experienced over the last 37 days.
Positive thoughts about the new reality coming up to live in have to be forced into the mind to avoid becoming too sentimental.

The switch from a paradise like situation on a deserted beach of the Pacific Ocean to the one of city life in a bustling Mexican society came with at least one dramatic shock.
Caused by a new law in South Dakota, USA.

As many fervent and loyal blog readers may know, the Fuso Szulc is registered in this state of South Dakota.
Four years ago this happened with the help of the mailing company called Americas Mailbox.
And as of then, each year the registration of the Fuso Szulc was arranged by Americas Mailbox with the Department of Motor Vehicles in South Dakota no problem.

But now Americas Mailbox is going to change their office.
A tremendous hassle for all their clients because each one needs to inform everybody about a new address.

The problem now is that also the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) needs to be informed about the new address.
This is when the new South Dakota law kicks in.
In order to change the address one must show now a South Dakota driver's license or Social Security numbers.
This is part of the new Real Id Act and the Driver's Privacy and Protect Act.
Having a passport of the Netherlands and a residence permit and driving license of Mexico there is no way to show a South Dakota driver's license or Social Security numbers.

What dooms up in front is a high wall of bureaucracy.
There is a law and no exceptions can probably be made.
An exception being that a European might want to own a car in the USA to use every time that country is visited.

Why does a person need to be an American with a South Dakota driver's license or Social Security numbers to own a car in the USA?

It is a difficult situation and already Americas Mailbox has written:

“Unfortunately there is no way around it. We do understand your situation here at the office but the state sees it differently. You can call the state and explain it to them and see if they would work with you on it but there are no guarantees. Their number is 605-773-3541 and they are on Central Time”.

In other words Americas Mailbox says: dear customer, you are on your own…

It is an interesting question what to do if South Dakota doesn’t want to extend the registration of the Fuso Szulc.
Because the owner cannot show a South Dakota driver's license or Social Security number.

It is easy for South Dakota to make a law and have new conditions but what do they offer for cases like the Fuso Szulc?
Is the only solution to sell the expedition vehicle and use the money to buy a shack to live in a Mexican village?

Is there a lawyer among the fervent and loyal blog readers who may be of help?

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Departure

After 37 days the retreat comes to an end.
No more food and drinking water.
Forced to return to town.

Having to leave El Triple:












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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Round and square

After lunch that consists of two meagre slices of toast, one with cheese and one with raspberry marmalade, a glass of grape juice and an apple to finish, there is always a 30 minute siesta.
A fantastic time of total relaxation and a special visit to the land of the thousand dreams.

After waking up from this soothing siesta there is always a walk along the Pacific beach on the fine and warm Mexican sand.
One day to the north, the next day to the south.

A good time during this walk to reflect and contemplate.

Like yesterday when the thought presented itself in the mind that everything in nature is round.
And that whatever is square, is man made.

This thought, how obvious it seems, landed in the mind as a tremendous new truth.

Share this deep going realization, fervent and loyal blog readers!
Everything we see in nature is round.
The Earth itself, the sun, the moon and the planets.
But also the sand grain of the beach and the trunk of the tree.
The egg of the bird and the shell of the sea.
The wing of the dragonfly and the nose of the coyote.

There is nothing in nature that is square.
Nothing is a plane figure with four equal straight sides and four right angles.

If an object is square it is because it is the result of human thinking. planning and construction.
In nature things are as a result of evolution.
If in the process of evolution it was discovered that to make things square would be more efficient and give a higher chance of survival, it definitely would have happened.
It didn’t but that was not an inspiration, example and a lesson for the human beings.

Take your own computer.
The screen where you read this blog.
Is it round?
It has been made square and the consideration for that decision has been reasons of efficiency.
It is more practical to have a square computer screen instead of a round one.

That observation can make us wonder about the sense that efficiency and practicality makes.
In how far that harmonizes with the cosmos.
The fact is it doesn’t.
We are overpopulating this world and rapidly destroying it.
If nature had been left alone, if it had been able to be here on Earth without the presence of human beings, it definitely would not have suffered of overpopulation and destruction of its own environment.
Nature is in balance and harmony with itself and therefore everything there is round.
But we humans are terminating ourselves with a square.





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Saturday, December 11, 2010

The castle will surrender

Hackers have been around for some years now.
Divided in two groups.
One group consists of rather young and innocent young persons who like to experiment with computers, software and networks.
The other group are professional hackers with criminal intentions.

But when Julian Asange was arrested many persons capable of hacking but making until now no trouble with their skills to society became active.


Attacking the websites of Amazon.com, PayPal and other companies as a revenge for how the authorities are handling the Wikileaks issue.

In 1968 there was a revolt in France of students protesting the policy of the Government.
By the thousands they disturbed and wrecked public life.
There were barricades and fires in the streets of Paris.
For weeks the students fought the police.
Students who until then had been quiet and living submissively in the context imposed by the ruling generation.




It developed into a gigantic confrontation but eventually negotiations took place between the Government and representatives of the students.
This resulted in dramatic policy changes and France has never been the same.
One of the student leaders in 1968, Daniel Cohn-Bendit is now a member of the European Parliament.





There is a synchronism between the French revolution of 1968 and the confrontation now taking place between the authorities and Wikileaks, the hackers and their sympathizers.
History shows that evolving societies grow with hiccups.
It is quiet for a while but in fact in a society aspects grow and become bigger and bigger until a social explosion takes place.
Now we have the privilege of witnessing a new eruption and when the Wikileak issue has quieted down, the world will never be the same again.
The whole world, because revolutions, or sudden and drastic evolvement, cannot be exclusively national anymore.
This because of the Internet.


What we see, and this happened with each confrontation in societies in the past, is that the ones in power try at any price to hold on to it.
Opposing change.
Unable to admit that things had been done wrong.
And this is the real reason for the confrontation, the conflict, the trouble and the hassle.

Let’s face it: what is Wikileaks?
By itself nothing at all.
Why Wikileaks has become a worldwide phenomenon are several reasons:
The Governmental systems with their politicians, rulers, diplomats and civil servants have had a way of practicing their policies in a non-transparent and double faced way.
In a way as was common in the 19th century.
Believing that secrecy was a right, democratic, justified and the best way.
Ignoring that at the same time society has changed.
Transparency has been coming to us through Internet changing the way of socially operating.

We all know that the Government of the USA has made an effort to keep on the one hand their policy secrets in the dark, while opening it more to their employees.
Resulting in over 3 million Americans having access to secret information.
No problem until there was US Army Private Bradley Manning who leaked.
Or whistleblowed.
Offering the information to Wikileaks who published it on their platform.



This was all possible because of the new ways of communication.
Computers, internet, websites.

How does the ones in power response?
Like the authorities in Paris in 1968.
Bradley Manning is in prison.
Julian Asange is in prison.
Hackers are arrested and face years in prison.
Secrecy is perfected.
Result?
More and more people get involved to fight for the new step in the process how the society is imagined to be.
It can’t be stopped.
But the authorities are too deep in enjoying their power.
It will take more confrontation but eventually the castle will surrender.


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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The spider is dead.

For weeks now a spider has lived in the door opening of the Fuso Szulc.
Outside the screen door waking up as soon as it is becoming dark.
To fix the web and then wait patiently.




When it is dark, insects come to the screen door because of the light inside and many end up in the web of the smart spider.

Every evening the spider could be seen becoming active and eventually it classified as a major presence in the Fuso Szulc menagerie.
A daily show suggesting the spider is like a pet.

Over the weeks the intelligence of the spider, to make use of the light and understanding how this attracts flying insects, could be seen to have impressive results.
The spider growing bigger and bigger.
His body becoming fat.

But this morning a peculiar situation.
The fat spider dead in its web.
But accompanied by a similar spider.
Much younger and smaller.
Alive and demonstrating concern for the big dead fellow spider.





How does that work with spiders?
How do they reproduce?
Is the new spider a baby of the big one?



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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Money thrown into the wind

The Fuso Szulc is equipped with a Davis Vantage Vue weather center.


Once arrived at a location where a considerable amount of time will be spend, the Integrated Sensor Suite is erected on a pole outside.





As of then the wind speed is shown on a console inside the Fuso Szulc as well as the outside temperature, the barometric pressure, possible rainfall in cc and the humidity.



This is about the third weather center that is in use: the two former ones, one from Oregon Scientific and one from LaCrosse Technology all broke down eventually.
They were about $ 150 each and lasted only a short time.

Therefore, eventually, the decision was made to simply get a semi professional weather center of high quality.
This became the Davis Vantage Vue costing $ 355.

It is a wonderful weather center but happiness didn’t last long.
Within a month it started malfunctioning.

On the Sensor Suite outside is a solar panel charging a build in battery for power at night.
This now, is not working.
The whole thing sends data only when the extra back-up battery is installed using that energy or when the sun shines.



Of course the help desk of the company Davis has been contacted to ask why a $ 355 weather center is not operating properly.
Their answer is that they have no idea why there is this problem.
They made one suggestion, to reset the Sensor Suite by keeping it in the absolute dark for 24 hours, but that is not the solution.

Recently, December 2, Davis was informed again about the malfunctioning, but no reply yet.

What is feared is that the Sensor Suite will need to go back to the manufacturer and from Mexico that is a lot of hassle.
Especially getting it back because Mexican Customs may charge the usual heavy import taxes or, like often, the parcel may get lost.

So now the reflection in the mind is why for heaven’s sake $ 355 was spent to want to know from where the wind blows.
Why not please live with only what there is?




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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Voices speaking inside the head

Sometimes people commit terrible crimes.
And after they have been arrested they explain they had been hearing voices in their head giving instructions to commit those crimes.

It seems that hearing voices in the head is something people that have schizophrenia experience.
Fortunately there is medication that schizophrenic people can take to stop the voices.

Often it is wondered how that exactly is, to hear voices in the head.
Because normally, when voices are heard, they are coming from outside the head.
Hearing voices in the head, is it like someone is talking standing nearby?
Maybe there is a fervent and loyal blog reader who is schizophrenic and who can explain how this works?

This subject of voices in the head came up because of the side effects being in retreat long time.
It is now in its 32nd day and consequently meager food is from the freezer and only a few apples are left.
Therefore, logic processes in the mind suggest to break up camp and go to town.
More so because two radio stations want to do interviews through a landline telephone connection and they are waiting for their interviewee to come out of isolation.

But each time when logic is suggesting to leave El Triple, a strong voice inside the head starts screaming.
Insisting loudly it doesn’t want to go.
Saying it is so beautiful and peaceful and harmonious at El Triple that it would be foolish and stupid to break off the retreat.
This point is made so vigorously and with so much insistence that it cannot be ignored and refused.

And it makes sense.
These days it is so lovely at El Triple.
There is not much wind nor any clouds.
If the mean northwestern wind would blow mercilessly as it often does or if there would be depressing dark clouds making it a miserable location, how easy it would be to pack things and go.

The loveliness of El Triple these days, and the benefits felt of being in retreat for over 31 days, are the pro’s that put the contra’s totally into the shadow.

The radio stations can wait.
It won’t harm to have only little and meager food for some days.

So the voice heard in the head is followed.
Because it is making more sense than the voice speaking in the name of logic.
No medication needed yet.




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Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Doug Stanhope is funny

One of the great things of the USA is that there are comedy clubs.
Something unknown in Europe.
They are small theaters where people sit at tables and drink watching a stage where one person is telling stories that make the audience laugh.
It is called stand-up comedy.

The Fuso Szulc is equipped with XM Satellite Radio that has over a 100 channels.
Two of them are dedicated to stand-up comedy.
”Raw Dog Comedy” and “Laugh USA”.
One may wonder why they have two channels with stand-up comedy.
It is out of necessity because many stand-up comedians use rough language.
There are guys who use in almost every sentence of their comedy routine the word “f**ck.
So they are on ”Raw Dog Comedy” and the others who have correct language saying nothing inappropriate are on “Laugh USA”.

It may be not a surprise that in the Fuso Szulc the favorite channel and most liked stand-up comedians are on ”Raw Dog Comedy”.
Every night, when landed in bed and before sleep comes, it is ”Raw Dog Comedy” that is listened to.
Because it has been discovered that laughing before going to sleep helps to have a very good night of rest.
The laughing relaxes and makes the thinking center around absurdity and humor, which is often the same.

What one hears on ”Raw Dog Comedy” are recordings made in those comedy clubs.
These recordings were made by the stand-up comedian who releases them on a CD.
It is business: a way of making a living besides the payment for the act in the club.
This makes it therefore often not very funny.
Not much to laugh.
Because the stand-up comedian arranges for the taping of the show, in order to get a successful CD, that the audience is super enthusiastic.
Before the show they have been instructed to laugh as much as they can.
Even if the stand-up comedian makes a joke that is not very funny at all, the audience laughs as if it is the best joke made ever.
This is very annoying and the stand-up comedian sinks immediately in the ranking.

For over two years at the top of this ranking is a stand-up comedian by the name of Doug Stanhope.


A 43-year old guy from Worcester, Massachusetts who is very successful and who has a large following of fans.
His trademark is to be on stage smoking a cigarette and drinking beer presenting his indignation about things happening in society and this in a very funny way.

Stanhope is not only intelligent and really funny, he has a very wide vocabulary and an intriguing way of talking.
But most important is that he is indignant about crucial issues in society.
Like legalizing marijuana or abortion.
This makes him very controversial and many of his outbursts are therefore not on XM Radio’s ”Raw Dog Comedy”.
One has to go to YouTube or buy his CD’s.

Take his view on Xmas.
He believes it has become nothing more but a shopping spree event.
For most people it is not a religious and holy moment for spiritual celebration anymore.

About Xmas he writes on his website:
“Just a quick holiday note to remember that Christmas is not about crashing around Wal-Mart and Best Buy hoarding garbage for people you don't even like.
It's not even about family, friends, pretty lights or drummer boys.”

So, for Xmas, Doug Stanhope has designed a T-shirt he offers for sale:


Of which he says:

“Christmas is about Jesus and your responsibility is dispelling the whole ridiculous idea of him.
Don't buy this t-shirt for someone as a X-mas gift.
Buy it for yourself to wear and upset other people who - in spite of all logic and reason - still believe in such dull-minded hogwash”.


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To learn more about Doug Stanhope, click on:
http://www.dougstanhope.com/




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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

The corrupted mind

Two days ago sitting in front of the Fuso Szulc on the self build terrace overlooking the bay of El Triple and seeing the waves of the Pacific Ocean roll in, the head was turned and a field came into view.
A green field surrounded by rows of bushes covering the rolling hills.

It was realized that a visit to this location had happened before.
With someone there had been a picnic on that field some time ago.

But then the thinking reached a barrier.
Was that field there or was it a memory?
This enigma was quickly solved: there are no green fields to see at El Triple.
In 2010 there has hardly been any rainfall: nature is as dry and sordid as ever.

The thinking reached a new stage: the visual memory of the green field, was it a memory of a green field that actually exists somewhere or was it a memory of a field that had been seen in a dream?
There the thinking stalled.
Because the answer could not be found.

For over an hour life became paralyzed searching in the mind if ever that green field had been really visited.
With who then had that picnic been?
Where could that green field be?
But if it had been in a dream, what had the dream been about?
How recently had that dream been?
And why would that detail of the dream come suddenly so strongly into the consciousness?

Eventually this intensive process of contemplation was halted.
It could not come to a satisfactory conclusion.
No determination if it was a memory of a place that really exists or a memory of a green field from a dream.

As of then, there is a certain worry.
If in the mind it cannot be known anymore if a memory is from the past reality or from an old dream, thinking becomes a most unreliable activity.
And disturbing because a memory can initiate a feeling.
A mood and emotions.
If a memory makes sad or happy but is a memory coming from dreams, it is the non-reality forcing upon us a feeling.
Corrupting an essential aspect of us human beings.
It can be wonderful and healing to remember events from the past with its accompanying emotions.
But if those events get mixed up with often absurd contents from dreams we unwillingly remember, we are in fact lost.

If we are sure it is a memory from the past that really happened, there is no problem.
But if it is a green field from a dream, we are pushed out of balance.

But maybe this is what a retreat, now in its 28th day, is doing.
The awareness gets so high and the space to think so big, that contradictions, faults and paradoxes get noticed in the thinking process.
Which is a good thing.
Thinking is great when playing chess but not to live spiritually.
When flaws are discovered in the thinking process, it becomes more easy to distance oneself from that unreliable activity.
Once thinking stops, pure life begins.



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Thursday, December 2, 2010

phishing feeble fishes

Probably many fervent and loyal blog readers experience the same phenomenon.
To receive e-mails asking for help.

It may be the son of a former high ranking politician in some obscure African country who needs help to channel millions of dollars safely away offering a bonus when helping.

Or it may be one of your friends who is visiting a foreign country and was robbed of everything and now has to pay a high hotel bill asking to help out by transferring by Western Union a sum of money.

Or it may be a person who claims to be terminally ill and wants to donate the heritage to a foundation.
Like Mrs Nestoria Vasquez Relevoa who writes the following e-mail:

Dear Friend,

My name is Mrs Nestoria Vasquez Relevoa ,a General merchant in the United States of America ,Originally from Philippine , but taking Treatment in Tokyo Japan now, I have been diagnosed with Breast cancer (117.7) and Colorectal cancer (42.7) cancer that was discovered very late due to lack of caring For my health. I have only about a few months to live according to medical experts.

I am looking for someone reliable and trusted that can use my ($6,200M)for the less privileges and orphanage homes. Since i can’t survive this illness. Please you can contact me through this
Email address:vasquez_relevoa1@live.co.uk

Warm Greetings from,
Mrs Nestoria Vasquez Relevoa.

What is so amazing about these e-mails is that it seems that there are people who believe it is a true and sincere request.
Who do not get the idea it is a scam and phishing.

If nobody would respond to an e-mail like the one above, this nonsense would stop eventually.
But it seems it still leads to results.
Innocent and more probably naive people who are touched by the story.
They get involved and end up seeing that their savings have disappeared.

It is known that these cyber-thieves somehow manage to obtain mailing lists.
An e-mail like the one above is send to thousands and thousands of persons.
The logic is that among the thousands and thousands of people, at least one is unaware and naive.
Who will respond to be plundered.

To write and send the above e-mail is a matter of an hour.
A handy software program like DirectMail sends automatically a message to as many addressees as you like.
Therefore, it is an easy job and the more people get the message, the higher the chance to find an innocent victim.
But in the meantime thousands and thousands of people are bothered receiving and reading this e-mail.
The phishers can’t care less.




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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NASA has news from 1689





In 1689 the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens wrote a book in Latin called “Cosmostheoros”.



This translates into “The theory of the Cosmos” and contains his speculations on the construction of the universe and the habitability of the planets as deduced from his own observations and those of other astronomers in his days.
This book, the “Cosmostheoros” was an immediate success: shortly after the Latin edition of the Cosmotheoros was published by the The Hague publisher Adriaan Moetjens, translations appeared in English (1698) and in Dutch (1699).
In the following years, translations also appeared in French (1702), German (1703), Russian (1717) and in Swedish (1774).

“Cosmostheoros” is an amazing book because Huygens explained in 1689 that water could be found on other planets.
And life as well.

He even explained how we should imagine plants and animals on other planets:

Plants and Animals on the Surface of the Planets, that deserve as well to be provided for by their Creator as ours do: but why must they be of the same nature with ours?
Nature seems to court variety in her Works, and may have made them widely different from ours either in their matter or manner of Growth, in their outward Shape, or their inward Contexture; she may have made them such as neither our Understanding nor Imagination can conceive.

And Huygens goes on to prove that this theory is correct.

It is a good idea to keep the “Cosmostheory” in mind when tomorrow NASA holds a press conference promising exciting news.
It will be about life on other planets but if we realize that this is known as of 1689, over 300 years, the excitement NASA is trying to create around the news conference is totally unjustified.
But NASA depends on money from the US-Government and the more relevant NASA seems, the better are their chances for funding.
So, tomorrow, NASA’s new discovery is about whipping cream.





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