Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A bad idea all around 

The Bs came back. This morning over breakfast we got a call from them asking us to come to dinner tonight (we'd agreed to meet them fr pizza tomorrow night. A 'going away' shindig. We know how those go), as the next night didn't work for them.

Long story short, they had a couple other people to call and invite (bosses of ours at another job) and I asked them to get back to us with details. At 4pm I called them and left a message on their machine asking if dinner was on and what time we needed to be there. Never got a call. We headed over a little after 6:30, and every one else was eating already (the Bs, new intern, and the other bosses).

It was a decent meal only because M and L, the other bosses, were there. Great guys and a riot! With them we had an actual conversation, while the Bs went on their conversation killing tangents. Not long into the meal the Bs both tore into D and upbraided him for his 'shortcomings'. Very insulting, very out of place, condescendingand beyond uncalled for. He stood up and walked off, ignoring the 'apologies' for giving him a hard time. Good for him! I'm so glad he didn't stop. They were rude beyond belief. He-B felt really bad. She-B blamed D's leaving on He-B. Apparently her rude comments (to everyone) all night and especially to D had nothing to do with his mood; at least in her mind. She asked if the ONE beer he'd had was maybe the reason for his mood. The rest of us choked back all we wanted to say, as we didn't want to go off in front of M and L. If they hadn't been there, the Bs would have been torn to bits themselves.

D is an amazing guy. He'd do anything for anyone and smile the entire time. Great guy, all around, in no way deserving of the treatment he got.

The Bs called these other bosses, once, and told them that D would not be coming to work that day as they were really busy and needed him at the farm. D had worked his hours already. They didn't talk to D before calling. WAY out of bounds.

Tonight was ludicrous. Everyone was unhappy with them, and they didn't notice anyone but D being pissed. Their inability to self-analyze is amazing!

I havent been that hacked off in a long while. Unfortunately an opportunity did not arise to say anything to the Bs. I refuse to argue with someone in front of innocent bystanders (except in special cases that don't really count), and didn't want to serve up verbal aces in front of M and L (who are in complete agreement with how out of line the Bs are with D. They've noticed it for a while as well. Not a good sign for the Bs. (While the accomodations there are nice, it's pretty much known all around that you get what you pay for: a nice place to squat, but a lot of shite to put up with)).

Thank god there won't be any reason to see them again before leaving. He-B has redeemable qualities, but it's been almost impossible to see any in She-B for a while. And there ain't no need to hang around with someone whose aim in life is to make others miserable. Life's too short

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Pushing the religious right in far off lands 

Don't let a good religion get in the way of slowing the spread of an Aids epidemic. By all means, abandon what seems to be working in favor of an unrealistic viewpoint. Sure, abstinence is more effective in preventing the spread of Aids than condoms, but if you live in the real world, which is more likely? Especially in Uganda (not that Bushie would know anything about daily life there. Hell, any bets on whether or not he could point it out on an atlas?)

Hoo boy. Wonder if they'll ever push for the banning of condoms in the US?

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Another day down 

Chainsaw. That's how the day began. I got to play around and do some damage with a small chainsaw. I'm thinking perhaps I'll buy one to travel with. No one will mess with my bags if I have one of them bad boys hanging out on my back, yeah? ANd when I get bored, say on a train or bus or in the middle of the city, I can break it out and dazzle the crowds. Juggle with it even. Better buy at least two then. Juggling with one chain saw ain't nearly as impressive as juggling with two, I'd assume.

Anyway, played around with it a while then yanked hell on some weeds. Not a bad day of work. I left early to sit in the library for a bit to gander thru a book with many many internships to gain some ideas for possible future employment. Didn't take any notes, tho I found some good stuff. I figure since the book is from '02 and I am going to Asia, making notes now won't do me a whole lot of good

Ramen does me good tho. And some water, of which I am in need of at this juncture

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Smashed by a bush 

Yesterday was another day of yard type work-some weed whacking and weed pulling.

That's not the purpose of this blog. Boring boring boring are stories about yard work. "Wow. That one weed was so tough to pull out I had to drop my beverage and really put forth some effort!"


My tale revolves very slightly around the work-it happened while I was taking a break. Running uphill from where the painting was taking place (D and I did not get to participate, as there was a dearth of brushes) I had to skirt under a low hanging sheet of plywood. Previous to ducking under thiws monstrosity, I needed to leap up and over an immense boulder. This I accomplished without a problem, being as nimble as a mountain goat. However, when it came time to duck under the wood I had some issues.

First, my hat. It was pulled down low to protect my eyes from the sun. Unfortunately, it also hindered my view of any object above chest level (assisted in my downcast eyes).

Problem 2 was my hair. As soon as I alit atop the rock a gust of wind breezed by and tossed my golden locks across the front of my face and wrapped around the other side (thanks to an overabundance of sweat, adhesiveness of hair to skin had become problematic).

Thus, my view of anything outside my head became obscured.

I then smashed face-first into the aforementioned board.


My nose took the brunt of the attack with the rest of my face absorbing the aftershocks.

Stunned, temporarily blinded, and knocked off course I began stumbling backwards and found myself wheeling madly thru the air after going airborne off the big rock. Fortunately my fall was broken by some oversized tobacco plants and I was not hurt, aside from the bloodied face and wounded pride.

Everyone on the farm-the owner, my 'friends', the migrant workers on-hand to pick coffee cherry, and some neighbors-were apparently watching my progress and got a good laugh. Bastards

The owner, our boss for the day, was kind enough to try and heal my hurt with a Corona. It worked and we all had a good laugh at the additional example of my idiocy


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Here is a good article about debt and a potential bubble burst. It's amazing what the average level of debt is. Makes me happy that I dug my way out of that sort of mess. Life is a lot less stressful when you don't owe money all over the place.

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Friday, August 26, 2005


Today was a day built for digging large holes: hot, humid, and not a damn cloud in the sky and no nearby shade offering. My shirt was soaked thru 10 minutes after the first shovel hit the dirt. And let me tell ya something-I stink. No, really. Reeka. I don't know if it's that farm (all the chemicals and whatnot they use), but I can't remember smelling so bad so constantly. All those days in SE Asia, hot and humid without deodorant, and my scent was intoxicating in comparison to what boils off of me these days. It's strange. Good thing I am not trying to impress anyone.

Speaking of which, I just got out of the shower and am sitting in the dark drinking ice water. The sweat is literally pouring off of me. Feel any pity for me yet?

Back to the holes. There was a reason for them, and a good one at that. Lemon and lime trees! What fun I had, I swear. The holes were about 3' in diameter and 3' deep. Perhaps mine ended up deeper and wider than those created by others, but hey. Do a job and do it your version of right, right? Doesn't matter. It was a good boost for my bulging muscles and all that. Or it simply made me sweat like a bastard, creating a halo of space around me. That might be an idea for traveling: dig some holes in the sun and let my stench repel harrassment-intent locals? Could work. Tho digging holes in the middle of a city may be discouraged. Only one way to find out.

Napoleon Dynamite. Awesome, awesome, movie. Rented it on the way home and watched it over lunch. Might have to watch it again tonight

No more bean dip, please! Too much is bulging me up, threatening to disperse my innards atop certain feline creations.

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Road trip 

Spent the other day (technically now, 2 days ago) driving all around the northwest part of the island. Saw some pretty views, drank some coffee and ate some Mexican food. At times it was almost nerve-wracking thanks to a little red truck with a propensity for overheating, but I nursed the little one and we made it without any hissy fits.


A coastline/valley view. Many, actually. Hawaii does that sort of scenery really well.

Had some coffee in the small town of Hawi while watching the world (and tourists) walk by and doing the crossword (my best effort at the NY Times puzzle).

The area up to and around Hawi was awesome. Lots of trees, small houses, no traffic. Beautiful green hillsides, colorful flowers. Very peaceful. Reminded me a bit of driving up into northern Kauai. A quiet relaxing place. Not sure how all the people passing us could still be in such a hurry when everything around bespoke of quiet, relaxation and no need to hurry. Too bad.

Our road took us high enough to see the top of Mauna Kea above it's low lying cloud layer. Which means we had a great view of the many observatories and telescopes at the top. Pretty amazing to see.

On the final approach back to the house we stopped at a beach. Frolicked in the water, ate lunch #2 and reclined in the sun. It was a nice quiet beach. Calm water, rock formations out in the water. The beach itself was segmented by tree patches which gave it the impression of being less crowded than it was. Everyone there (except us) had a dog, and brought him/her along. I looked sexy as hell in my new bikini

Ended the day with a gin and tonic on the front porch of the house watching sunset.

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Today's job was a nice break from the usual. Instead of pulling weeds or spreading mulch, the day was a cornucopia of tasks. This job was at a new friend's house, which was a nice departure from a farm. This also means that the scope of work is much smaller than usual; a nice change.

The day started simply-breaking down a large tent-like structure from over the kiln and grill (our employer for the day makes glass art). You'd be amazed at how easy it is to get wrapped up in strips of test-cloth and wind up trapped beneath a semi-collapsed metal pole structure. Not to worry, I was freed before my windpipe found itself punctured with the rusted pointy end of a support pole.

K's (the EF the D) reaction was nothing more than laugh! Well, and a that and a quick run to the kitchen to make some crappucino. Her timing with the cup of caffeine couldn't have been better as my next project had a higher price of failure.

Effort #2 was using Round Up and spraying the hell out of a small hillside of progressively aggressive vines. Only once was I tossed to the ground by a foot snagging green snake-like vine. Otherwise it was a flawless application of poison to the ground, air, and my feet. Not to worry, my shoes are Gore-tex wonders and are built for trail running. Unfortunately, they've been my main choice of foot wear for a year now and thanks to the miles of use and the razor sharp lava rock out here, they are now traction-less, falling apart and have long slices in many places from mean rocks!

A quick weeding session was supplanted by a request to move heavy objects and lots of glass from the garage to an upstairs bedroom. "No problem," says I, thinking nothing of it.

Silly me. I should know by now that nothing I do anymore is simple. It started off ok; I grabbed some shoe-box sized boxes filled with glass and moved them. No problem. Various bottles of liquids and containers also made the trip upstairs without causing an incident.

Next came larger bundles of glass: sheets of glass; rods of glass the width of toothpicks but a foot long; glass shards; glass bundles. It was chaos, and my every sense was heightened in an effort to not break anything.

Unfortunately, everyone here has cats. These creatures are destined to be my destruction in this life.

All was well until one of the hairy bastards found a way to get under my left foot as I struggled up the stairs with an armload of glass sheets, a ceramic bowl and part of a kiln. I stepped down, the creature moved and sent my leg swinging up and forward which in turn shifted my weight backwards (downhill).

Many things went thru my mind in the next several seconds. The predominant theme was one of hatred towards kitties. But every dog has his day, yeah? As I tumbled down the stairs, flinging glass bits everywhere, the kiln bit whonked my head and I found myself swwimming in gray for a bit. Coming to, my 'friends' and the B for AD were gathered around a clump of fur with lancing glass sticking out in all directions. Shouts for: "To the vet", were heard and they all dashed off. D helped me up and pulled some of the larger pieces of glass out of my stomach and arms. As we applied bandages and I stitched myself up (with a needle I quickly made from a palm frond and stitching made from my fraying Wranglers), he tried to make me feel better about wounding a cat. He didn't seem to understand my spewing animosity

When the cat and women-folk returned, I was informed that I was lucky, the rat fink would make it. No inquests were made as to my own state of being (I guess bulky blue stitches across a persons impossibly huge bicep is not a polite topic of conversation).

The worst part? I saw that idiot cat limp around outside....and slap paws with a mongoose...

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Take me back 

I'm listening to 2000 Light Years Away (Green Day) and it's making me think of high school. And driving around in the old Chevy Caprice, crappy tape playing this (and many other 'good driving songs') song entirely too loud.

And apple pie. No idea why that popped into my head

No work tomorrow. Can't wait to sleep in, lounge around in the AM and eat breakfast, drink coffee and then head up north to check out some sights and scamper around some beaches.

He may be whacked out, a complete tyrant, and possibly not a nice man. But Turkmenistan's President cracks my shite up. How many leaders have the balls to declare themselves President for Life, rename streets and towns in his honor, rename months after their family members, closes all hospitals except the one in the capital, gives gold watches to all country inhabitants (I have no physical proof of this, only stories), and order the building of an ice palace in the heart of the country (one of the hottest on earth). Points for originality! (Note: Turkmenistan has many interesting neighbors: Iran on the west, Afghanistan to the south, and Russia to the north. Kazakhstan hits its east side, I believe). Ooh, this is an interesting article. Note the passage about Kofi Annan and the all-(im)potent UN:

Rachel Denber, head of Human Rights Watch for Central Asia, said she found it baffling that even at the level of the United Nations, there was a failure to acknowledge the gravity of the situation.

"Kofi Annan went to Turkmenistan in October and toasted the president. I think that people were bitterly disappointed by that lack of acknowledgement," she said.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Da da da 

This afternoon D and I headed down to the beach. Waded out into the water, stumbling over rocks and sharp things to deeper water and a sandy bottom. Stayed out there a long while, talking and conversing. A nice chat. It's exciting that he is to go traveling with me. He's living away from his parents' home for the first time, first time traveling. A short hop to Hawaii and then on to Asia. Impressive, eh? I'm impressed.

After staying in the water long enough to get cold we eventually made it ashore over the rocks again (I bloodied a knee. That was exciting. I think I'm in need of a good blood-letting) then sat on a rock wall and checked out the scene while talking a while longer.

D, C and I ate dinner on the back patio and watched the sun dip into the ocean then watched Family Guy. Good times.

Now it's blessedly late. I just finished a Rogue Guy beer, and the Dropkick Murphy's are wailing in my ears.

Not all is bad, don't worry

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Monday, August 22, 2005

What really counts 

I've had a lot of time to think in the last few months. It began with way too much alone time for Corey and has continued with this never-ending period of mind-numbing busy work. A lot has happened in the last 2 years; lots of changes have taken place inside of me, and in my life. Those who knew me 'before' can attest to the almost complete change I've gone thru; the difference in my 'position' in life is more than obvious to the naked eye.

Two years ago I was well on my way to realizing the stereotypical American dream: wonderful girlfriend, house, nice truck, motorcycle (which all boils down to a lot of debt), credit card debt, well-paying job, etc etc.

A year ago I was down to the girlfriend and a huge downgrade in vehicle (Dodge Ram to a Saturn. Boy was that one hard to explain away without giving away my plan to quit my job and travel!). Which means I left with very little.

Now I have nothing. Don't get me wrong-in a lot of ways, that is good. No payments to make, no 'things' to worry about, and total freedom.

When I leave this time, it will be a couple weeks short of a full year since I left Chicago (longer since I left Denver). Pretty wild that it's been that long! Having been gone for so long, and having all this time to think has made me realize some things.

Money is not the end all, be all. It allows us to take possession of many things and ways of life we don't need, but want. I've realized that I don't want, nor need, many material things. They make me feel encumbered and stressed out.

Ok, that's good. Moving on.

I'm now without the wonderful girlfriend (thanks to my own idiocy) and am feeling a bit estranged from many people back home. Communication hasn't exactly flowed with many people; since I haven't been back and not much talking has occurred, I'm left feeling a bit cut-off, if you will. This is new for me.

But what it's made me realize, is that it's all great and wonderful to be 'free' and out doing exciting things and meeting new people. But if there isn't someone to share the experiences with, no one to share them with after the fact (I have done very little relating of the last year to anyone, except on here), it's a hollower escapade (for me at least). Being very unsure where 'home' is anymore, and having no idea where to have your trail end is quite unsettling.

So what is the spice of life? Is it crazy/fun adventures and irresponsibility? Or is it the people around you, the people in your life? (It's not the things you have, so I won't even list that).

My thinking is that it's the latter.

Which is perhaps why at this point, I'm feeling less enthusiastic about this trip than I expected. Why I am second guessing the hell out of the decision(s) I made, and why it might be a much shorter venture than originally intended.

So it goes

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Happy bday to me! 

Today I am 29 and 7 months old. Which means that in 5 months, I turn 30. That's funny. Who knew I'd make it so long (tho I'm not there yet, so shhh!)

Wonder where this one will get celebrated? And with whom?

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The 'weekend' is over 

Today is Monday, I suppose. Didn't have much of a weekend. Saturday was work-free, but that's about it. Worked all day yesterday. Mowed grass for the first time in a long time. Couple hours worth! Fun times.

Less than 2 weeks to go time. Hard to believe. We came up with a sort of plan for the first couple/few weeks over in Asia. Hopefully I'm ready for all this.

Decisions, decisions, eh? Good, bad, neutral....foop

Gotta leave for work in a few minutes. More shoveling macadamia nut mulch and weeding most likely. Great. Just what I feel like doing. Or maybe not. Gotta look at the end, and believe that it's worth it.

Happy monday

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Friday, August 19, 2005


Two weeks from tomorrow we leave. Crazy. Am I ready? Yes. And NO.

Tomorrow will be a half day off. Next day w/o work will be Wednesday. So far. That is subject to change, and probably will the way we're going. Oofda. I'll be ready for the trip when it gets here. On second thought, I am more than ready to be moving. And I have ideas and ideas. Those will come soon. Sign up for PayPal and prepare to impress your friends. And help a brotha out

It's bloody hot

At least I'm not in a cubicle...

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Do my emails get thru 

Ronnie O'Connor. All my emails to you get bounced back. Are they getting thru or are we blocked. Yours get to me. Do you have a virus? Que esta pasando?

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New things aren't bad 

Not working for an entire day. That is something I could get used to (again). Today there was no work to get done, and it was glorious! Instead my path crossed a thrift shop (found a copy of 'Ishmael' for $0.50. Awesome), the library (many more books), and the couch.

And last but not least, a meditation session.

Meditating is something I have never done before, but in recent months my interest has been piqued and I've wanted to try it out. Now I had a (free) chance! I went in wondering if I would like it, what I would get out of it, and whether or not it would be possible for me to sit still for an extended period of time. Turns out, I can sit still, amazingly enough! There was a 25 minute session, a five-minute 'walking' session, another 25 minutes sitting, more walking, and a final 25 minutes. So for an hour an a half, I was silent, my brain was working (more lucidly than is typical), and I sat still!

And I'll tell you what: I really enjoyed it! It wasn't easy, and keeping my mind focused on one thing was...well, not entirely possible but it was good to try. It may seem like a strange activity, but it was great!

It's something I'll have to do more often. This is a good start for me. Now I can go over to Asia and hopefully take some classes or 'study' somewhere and not go in cold.

Gotta work again tomorrow. Not looking forward to that.

p.s.-the vegan biscuits and gravy actually turned out really well and were quite tasty this morning. Of course I am a stellar cook-type so that didn't hurt...

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

who knew? 

I am mid-way thru cooking vegan biscuits and gravy. Who knew such a thing existed! Crazy! It looks good so far, tho I'm making th efunniest looking biscuits you ever done seen.

And cup of coffee 2. Soon the free good stuff will be no more so I gotta enjoy it now, ya know?

Back to cooking...

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Status check 

Here I sit, borken hearthed had to sit but only frated.

So it goes.

Natty light
New PBR hat
New Ipod. Hank Williams just queued up. Not needed right now
Moved on. Better now
Royal Enfield; India to London. Good idea? Perhaps not. Fun? Of course. The only matter
Joyce is done. On to Kafka.
No work tomorrow. Finally. Making vegan biscuits and gravy (won't compare to those at the Triple XXX) for bfast. Coffee, sleeping in, can't wait. Maybe a beach. Meditation for sure.
Too many damn cats
But no mutes. Hallelujah!
Kriss Kross. "I missed the bus". 'Nuff said? I think so
Politicians are assholes. The people attracted, or a byproduct of the job? Hm
Series coming up on here about coffee production. Pics and all. Stay tuned.
The blind cat just ran across my feet. Not sure what to do 'bout that. Is he hitting on me?
Where's a good dog when you need one? For the love of...
Hello, Norway!

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Aches and pains 

Dusting off the irons

Brushing out the mane

Wiping the horse shite off my boots

Pausing to admire the construction of the barn door

Odelay and ondeluck

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Go time 

Yesterday was a hell of a mail day.
My passport arrived in the mail, which means my ticket to Bangkok won't go to waste! And what a riot it is to look at my new and old passports together. Two funny lookin' pictures, and quite different. Amusing.
I also got my PBR hat in the mail, which came with a free koozy and bottle opener!
Finally, my mp3 replacement arrived, and as we speak I am transferring music!
Today was a short work day-3.5 hours, and the afternoon has been a mix of slothful activities such as eating, tv, and napping.
Not too shabby

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What do you think? 

Gone and forgotten?

Could be

Seems to be

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Another day 

Draggin' a bit today. Slept like crap, again, last night. Now it's....to early and it's almost time to leave for work. Today I'll only be working at one job. Tomorrow was supposed to be the first of 2 days off, but now it'll be another day working. A short one perhaps, but working nonetheless. Oof. It's all for a good cause though, right? Putting away some green that will come in handy at a later date?

I'm tired.

And in the mood for cool/cold weather and skiing. Bad timing, brah. There ain't much of either of that in SE Asia. Maybe in India I can get a skiing fix? Shiesa

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A gentle breeze stirs the trees

Rippling waves stumble to shore

Idle chatter surrounds drowning

Wafting island music and crashes.



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Proper send-off 

Today I stopped by the old farm, to look back on my time there and reminisce a bit.

Nothing could have prepared me for what lay in store.

Remember the mongeese? They were ready and waiting.

After visiting with the Bs (i.e.-taking a crapper into their respective shoes) I made my way up the driveway towards the highway. Ya coulda knocked me over with a dastardly thought. Making my way, slowly, up the drive in the LRT, I passed by mongoose after mongoose. They were lining the driveway on both sides in unimaginable numbers.

Every one stood at attention on his/her hind legs and 'waved' to me. I heard a "O captain, my captain," float to me across the still air. Some random slow clapping also permeated the stillness. As I neared the top I saw the widow of my nemesis with a pic of her dead husband.

Stopping the car (thank god I set the parking break and turned the tires or disaster surely would have struck) I walked over to her and knelt down. She bowed her head once and let a smile tease across her weasely lips.

Overcome with emotion I leaned forward and my moistened lips rested atop her furry head and I kissed it (her head, not my glistening lips). She made a feint to her right and came at me from the left. I dodged her attack but could not avoid the throngs that followed her lead. A setup!

Grabbing hold of a papaya tree I tore its soggy trunk from the lava strewn ground and prepared to make my final stand. Snarls broke from deep in my throat and caused three vermin to pause in their assault. Too bad for them, as I scattered unripened papaya upon them and splattered fur and blood and weasel guts across the asphalt.

Imagine Keanu ('Whoa') Reeves in the Matrix II (I forget the name) as he fought the Smiths on the playground. That was me, only I am much more communicative than KR (and cuter too, in my opinion), the Smiths were furry little devil weasels, and I was fighting with an uprooted papaya tree instead of a pipe. And I don't think I am stuck in a computer generated world fighting to free the human race. I was simply trying to avoid becoming mongoose food.

So there I was, swinging wildly, jumping off the sides of avocado trees and knocking bundles of mongeese across the yard and the Bs looked on and laughed maniacally. I was keeping them at bay, but it was tough. And I was losing ground.

Desperation began taking root in the depths of my soul. I'd need some help in eliminating these asshole bags of fur. Big Papaya (the moniker I gave my tree of salvation) cleared me a trail to the highway and I made my move.

There I was. Sprinting down the middle of the highway (a two-lane 45mph roadway), tossing a papaya tree off to the side, desperate for salvation.

Salvation appeared in the form of a caravan of shittey pick-ups driven by headstrong locals. Seeing my plight (they hate the buggers) I heard downshifting and roaring engines. Waiting until the last second, I maintained my line down the centerline. At the last possible second I dove off the cliff to my left and narrowly missed getting clipped by Pick-up 1's front bumper.

Ten minutes later I regained the highway and gave witness to the carnage. One straggler managed to avoid boiling rubber and came at me. I grabbed him (her?) by the tail and fling him (her?) off the cliff into oblivion.

The LRT was still in place atop the driveway.

In I climbed and home I drove.

And drew a hot bubbly bath and drank a glass of wine while listening to Yanni while candles slowly burned down all around me.

Oddly enough, a monkey proceeded to fly outta my arse and spoil the mood.

So it goes

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Be happy, damnit 

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to
ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken
probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts
too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with
your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did.
You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose
someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like
you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a
minute of happiness you'll never get back.

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Much better 

Yes, today was Sunday. It was not, however, a day of rest for this house in Pualani Estates (chode of a name too, isn't it? Makes you think of a stuffy shite-encrusted subdivision, eh? You are correct). Our day started with a voyage back to the land of $3.50 an hour work, to work one more hour to complete our deservation of the money we were paid yesterday (we had no change, so extra money went from his hand, to ours, to the grocery). It was quick, we chatted with M, the owner of the farm. Great guy, interesting as hell. Too bad we suck at picking cherry because he's a good 'boss' and he'd be neat to kick around with after a hard day of picked and chat up over a beer. So it goes.

'Breakfast' at a healthy foods store followed, a meal which left me hungry too soon after (just in time to have no access to food).

A quick stop by home preceded our next job. This job...ooh yeah! We spent almost five hours pulling these gawd-awful vines which varied in width from thread to my bicep (a whopping 65-inches). Good times. Hard work, but the lady who owned the place was really neat (she's becoming a Buddhist priest and is going to India next year to take a 2-week class taught by the Dalai Lama. Cool beans!), gave us nice water breaks which allowed us to observe her 'pet' ducks waddle around the yard (awesome, funny little critters, decades ahead of chickens in terms of tolerability), and paid us pretty well. Unfortunately, lack of food (and sleep?) intervened and turned me effectively mute for most of the afternoon. I managed to continue working without keeling over, which was impressive, but I was not Mr. Chatty. Next time. She's topped our list of places to work.

Not only all that, but she has meditation nights at her house! We managed to weasel an invite, and Thursday we're heading over to check it out. Should be...interesting. I've been wanting to check out this meditation stuff and this will be a good intro. Hell of a beautiful setting (her farm seems to go from rain foresty to almost pine foresty). I'll let you know how well I do at sitting still for three 25-minute sessions.

Watched an episode of 'Coupling' over some home-made enchiladas. That show is hilarious! Those wacky Brits...

Speaking of, Monty Python's Flying Circus was on the other night (many episodes) and there was an extended version of the 'Upper Class Twit of the Year' competition skit. Awesome! One of my faves

Enough of this. Time to set some music to downloading while I go eat some home-made cookies while the Simpsons buoy my already good mood

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Almost a waste of a day 

Today's workday activity was pickign coffee cherry for a small farmer down the coast near the old farm.

Turns out, we pick cherry slower than hell. Which isn't good for the farm, because if the cherry sits on the tree too long it over-ripens (becoming 'raisin') and is no good. This is also bad for us, because we get paid by the pound.

Most of the work we've been doing has been based on an hourly rate of $10. Our picking rate was $0.40 a pound. We picked about 100 pounds.

Let me break that down one time. Converting this to an hourly rate, we ended up making about $3.50 an hour. When we could have been making $10.

No, we will not be picking coffee cherry anymore. Which is unfortunate, because it is somewhat fun and addicting ("ooh look! That tree is covered in red! Let's go!"), and quite relaxing. As relaxing as it can be to stumble around and over slicked-up lava rocks with a basket filled with 20 pounds of coffee cherry around your neck.

So it goes. And get this-it's only three weeks until the plane leaves. With us on it. Crazy. And my passport? Still don't have it. It's somewhere on the east coast, I think. Supposedly it'll be in the mail by the 18th.

And let's not even mention (for mom's sake) the lack of consulting we've done with medical staff as to malarial prevention (I have many pills left over from last year-ish, but is it enough? That's the question!), and the non-itinerary hanging up on the fridge.

It's 615 pm on Saturday night. I am on the internet, drinking coffee while looking out the window and across this stupid subdivision at the sun sinking slowly into the ocean. On occasion I read a couple pages of "Dubliners" (J Joyce) while drooling over the collection of bound Kafka prose sitting to my left. Brooks and Dunn are requesting something country. Around me the world sleeps, wkaes, chats, drinks, eats, flees the falling rain, weep, laugh, contemplate the macabre the choices the ferns 10 feet from my eyes and the formation of clouds overhead.

Something is missing

This time, I'm searching.

Whaddya think, ma? Should I get another tattoo? I was thinking maybe in India or Mongolia. I am sure they have interesting methods for inserting ink into skin up in the land of the Mongols.


No, I am not mean to my mother. It's that damn brother of mine-I've gotta keep up!

This is a hell of a pot of coffee I made. Darn good shite

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Friday, August 12, 2005

Celebratory wishes 

Buddy-Have fun in Vegas. Try to stay away from the $15 daquiries-they're pretty foo-foo and won't help you with the women. Sorry I didn't make it out there to celebrate with you, got stuck on an island in the middle of the Pacific (as you know)... And happy birthday. Maybe one of these days you'll catch up!

And to You. Happy birthday. Sorry I am missing....it, and you.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It's raining again 

Have spent this morning packing up and doing a little bit of work. Now it's raining again so I am done working here. Yeah!

Don't want to get wet (well, I do. I'd love to run around in the rain again. Why am I not? Hold on, the reason is coming) because I am doing some work in someone's house in a couple hours. Yup, going to make more money.

And that will be the case for the next 3 weeks. There are all sorts of jobs getting lined up to do farm work, house/yard work, picking coffee cherry, building stuff, and we'll see what else. Good times.

The Bs are still off in town. Hopefully they hold off on returning until I am outta here.

Hawaiian rain. So special, magical, refreshing and cleansing. I love it.

Know what else I love? Eating. I'm going to go do that now

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I finally got around to putting some captions on the Fiji pictures. They are not very imaginative or creative, but they say things. It's better than a bunch of numbers and letters

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Let's keep church and state separate, and religion out of our public schools.

Unless of course it's to eliminate the teaching of evolution. Thank goodness the President wants to force his religious views on everyone....wait, should he be doing that?


The president has suggested that a theory known as "intelligent design" should be taught in the classroom.

It proposes that life is too complex to have developed through evolution, and an unseen power must have had a hand.


Many scientists insist, though, it is just that - a theory.

Alan Leshner, the chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says that the proponents of intelligent design are "trying to cloak a religious concept in the mantle of science".

"There is no science to intelligent design, it's not even a scientifically answerable question," he says

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Another good send-off 

Worked for four hours this morning shoveling mulch at my other job (now my primary job!). Left at noon-thirty and started hitching. Stood in the same spot for an hour, begging every passing vehicle (be they car, SUV, motorcycle, electric company trucks, cement mixers...) to please stop and be my salvation. My feet hit the driveway here at 2pm.

Went right to work picking coffee.

Finished around 415pm, then ran around in the pouring rain. Shirtless, barefoot (in sandals though. Lava rick is bad for bare feet), and happy. The rain here is so cleansing and I felt refreshed and happy when I retreated to the studio to dry off and warm up.

Dinner was....pretty much the same as C's last dinner, but without the wine. Nasty comments throughout. For a while, I was thinking that they had forgotten that I am leaving tomorrow. But no, they know. And they don't seem to care. Four months of toil here, and apparently they could care less. Well, maybe they do care. Since they didn't plan ahead enough to set up having new interns come in. Not my fault.

I don't mind the lack of fuss (though who doesn't like hearing "Thanks for all your work. It's been fun and we appreciate all you've done"), but dinner was painful. Mid-way thru I considered walking out. I just don't like constant (baseless) passive-aggressive bitchy comments. Gets old, ya know?

People. Passing the blame is so easy, isn't it? Prime picking season is fast approaching, and all their interns are leaving! What assholes we are!

I gave less notice to my engineering company. And they didn't react this way. They assessed their needs and replaced/divied up work as necessary.

They still don't seem to understand the negative assessments they've gotten from past workers. They think they are blameless and perfect. Well, now I understand them. My guess is that before long they won't be using organic volunteer websites to get organic volunteers. And perhaps they won't go thru with becoming an organic farm. They just don't get it

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I'm a fatty 

Post dinner refreshments:

Box of macaroni and cheese
Peanut butter and jelly
Spoonsful of peanut butter cup ice cream (Ben and Jerrys)
More spoonsful of Chocolate Obsession (Soy Delicious) ice cream
Brownies (which are more like fudge)
some water

And it's only 9:30pm. And I'm feeling saucy! (kind of)

I am a bit wired
And I can't seem to find the teradactyl anywhere. Very distressing
D is firing up a bagel with peanut butter and pineapple/ginger/papaya jelly (so good!) and he wants me to indulge. But I won't do it. I hope

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Pot luck fun 

The pot luck dinner tonight was held at an organic coffee farm up the mountain. What fun it was! Lots of people showed up, lots of chatting, lots of good food. And for the first time in a long time (just over 3 months?) I felt like a normal person, social even, around a large group of people. That was wild.

Ended up swapping stories with a girl who I (we) may have seen in Asia. She traveled thru Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. She biked thru Cambodia, and we went to a lot of the same places. It was a lot of fun to talk about the trip, regardless of the pangs that seared my stomach.

Good times. Made the excitement for this upcoming trip grow a bit. Some people thought we were a bit nuts in our excited jabber, but it was nice. It's fun to talk about travels, especially when such excitement is shown.

A long ride with the Bs up and back. One more day....

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Sunday, August 07, 2005


Another rift appears and highlights
Differences before unseen
Fleeting feelings of solitude
Are bolstered and linger longer

A fitting jigsaw piece is known
Yet the sculptor must needs
Work a little longer
Completed piece not yet

This maintained buffer will
Force resolution and peace
Within myself. Or else this
Message will self-destruct

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Sunday morning coming down 

Here it is, Sunday morning.
What a morning it is. No one is around, so I have plenty of time to me
Some emails have gone out; coffee has splashed into my stomach; my eyes have been poring over a new book (A 'Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius'. I think that is the correct title.).
But more than that. I've made lists. I've had lots of 'Corey-time' which means more thinking has been accomplished. Lots of thinking has been getting done lately, and there have been no mental burn-outs just yet.

Progress is being made, on many different fronts
Excitement is building again
As is fear
Forward progress is nice
Even amidst sideways scuttling

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Save the world? 

An interesting article on a scientist working to solve the planet's energy woes. These articles can be a bit frightening at times; the predictions made for energy needs and pollution levels in 50 years are so are quite frightening. Of course it's all numbers and guestimates and we won't really know until the time comes, but still...

In 50 years, where will us antisocial/anti-crowded places people go? Will we have a place? Hopefully somewhere physical will be findable. I can only spend so much time receded back into my own head. It's not a safe place to stay for too long.

A teaser from the article:

A U.S. chemist is trying to determine how the world will produce enough energy to supply 9 billion people by mid-century — and whether that can be done without pumping off-the-charts amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.


Nocera cites a calculation by Caltech chemist Nathan Lewis that power demands in 2050 will be so great that just to keep carbon dioxide emissions at twice preindustrial levels, a nuclear plant would have to be built every two days. There's not enough room on the planet's surface for other widely touted solutions such as wind and biomass to have much impact.


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My life these days 

This is what ripe coffee cherry looks like. Don't you want to pick it?

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Wrong again 

As I should have assumed, there was a reason for the most recent irritating actions undertaken by the Bs.

A nearby farm was robbed recently-a few bags of coffee beans were stolen. And the guy(s) actually drove his truck down onto the farm (the house is hidden, and the owner is old and not very mobile) and was picking coffee cherry from the tree! Astounding.

This event made the rounds, of course, and She-B got paranoid. The truck was blocking the way down to the farm, and the lower studio was locked in response as well. Maybe. Another version (told to me by C today, who saw the Bs at some coffee event in town) was that the studio is locked to keep it clean. Whatever the reason, my beer is being held hostage in there! And that ain't right

Hitch hiked back from town today. Took about an hour and half and five rides but I made it. My last ride was from an ex-con. Went to jail for growing lots o' mary-ju-wana on his farm here some years ago. I tell you what, I wish he'd picked me up sooner or that I'd had further to go because it was interesting as hell talking to him! Maybe next time

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Saturday, August 06, 2005

More shenanigans 

More funky mambo-jambo going on here.

Last night when I arrived back at the farm, I still had our loaner Little Red Truck (K&C, the old owners of the farm and current owners of the LRT and for whom we are house-sitting) let me keep it to drive home after dinner at their place. Which was nice, since C, who is now living there, was the reason we got it in the first place. Back to the story...

One of the Bs's 5 vehicles, the Isuzu Trooper (the new fancy non-truckish variety, not the old sturdy off-roader it used to be), was in a new place. As I pulled into the steep down-hill of a driveway, it appeared to be parked across the driveway, blocking my way. Fortunately there was just enough room to pull by it on the right and up to the house. But it has never been there before and seemed a bit suspect.

This morning, D and I discovered that the downstairs studio (where I spent many nights hiding from the Mute and where C and E lived up until yesterday) was locked. In all my time here it has never been locked and I was always told I could use it any time I wanted.

Our beer is still in the fridge there. She-B knows this, as D just barely got in there to start grabbing C's food (some of which she bought herself, despite the agreement here being that the Bs buy our food) to put into our fridge (and the beer). She-B seemed annoyed that he was doing that, and said she'd have to look thru it to 'divy things up'. See, they buy us food but ration it out to us, I guess so that we don't over eat (or eat our fill more than once a day). A very fishy, and annoying move.

And they wonder why people have left here with a less than stellar impression of them. Self-analysis is a tough thing to do...

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What a send-off 

C left today. After working at our second farm this morning/afternoon we drove her into town and her time here is done.

Remember my story about her 'going away dinner' the other night? Her good-bye went about as well. Before heading out this morning she walked into the main house to say good-bbye to the Bs. D and I stayed outside. Seems that it was the most uncomfortable thing she's done in a while. She-B glared at her the entire time, saying nothing. Until C was headed out the door then she said something like "bye", and nothing more. He-B, told a few of his stories and told C that she could come back and help pick some beans if she gets bored.

They didn't even pretend.

Why is this, you might ask? Well, there are a couple reasons that they may be in a bad mood these last couple days (which have nothing to do with us), but it's more than that. The poor girl never stood a chance simply because she has dreadlocks and is a vegan. That's all. If they had taken the time to get to know her, they'd have realized that she doesn't fit their stereotype for vegan dredded hippie types (not good, in their mind). Instead they treated her poorly.

Looks don't mean anything, right? So we're told. But too many people don't actually believe that. One look tells them all that they want to know. A certain appearance makes them think a certain way, and instead of investigating to see if their assumptions are groundless or not, they don't take the time. Pathetic.

Reminds me of the British guy R and I met in Chiang Mai (Thailand). He has never met an American (US) he likes and doesn't like the US. BUT, he knew we were from the States and made a point of sitting down to talk to us. And he talked to us in a very friendly way, and was in no way negative towards us. He wanted to find out if his feelings were correct or not. Now THAT is the way more people should be. Judge based on the person, not where they are from or what they look like.

Hell, my brother and most of his friends are covered with tattoos. No, they are not worthless lazy or scary. They are hard-working and very nice folk.

Back to the point. If the Bs take D and I out for dinner on my last night, I'll be asking some questions about their lack of any recognition about C (and all the hard work she did here). Usually my mouth is fairly well-behaved, but this has me pretty hacked. It's not just C, it's their attitude about all people/things organic and earth-based.

They never should have bought an organic farm, and they should NOT advertiese for 'interns' amongst the organic crowd. Their minds are not open enough.

Thank gods it's the weekend. I'm sleeping in tomorrow

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Time to get gone 

When E left us a couple weeks ago, the Bs took us out to dinner, took pictures of her and all of us (for their wall of interns or some muckety-muck), and we had us a grand time.

This past week they've been in a good mood and have mentioned their appreciation of the hard work we've been thrusting out lately. In fact, 2 nights ago they broke out a bottle of wine at dinner as appreciation and toasted us! Very exciting.

Then last night happened. During the day, the male half of the Bs made a remark about D buying dinner that night (a 'joke' he's told every time we've gone out to eat). We assumed that dinner would be out in public since he said this, and since it was the last night we would all eat together; C leaves tomorrow to begin house-sitting in town and D works tonight. Ok, fine. Another nice send-off.

Instead, dinner time approaches and nothing is said about eating out. So we go into the house at the usual meal-time (6pm sharp) and are met with mini-lecture and passive-aggressive attacks and more lectures! We collected most of the ice from the main house fridge to makes smoothies and keep our bevvies cool during the work day. D took the ice, and I checked at lunch to see if more was being made. There were no markings on the ice maker (on/off) but there were cubes in the dish; D said he took every last one. B begins to lecture me on leaving it empty and accusing me of being a shitty engineer for not knowing how an ice-maker works. A bit taken aback, I made mention of the fact that I have never had an auto ice-maker, and that's why I am not familiar with the operation (under my breath I added that being an engineer does not qualify me to be an expert in all things mechanical or engineering related, a feat B takes great pains to convince us he's capable of. Which he's not. Digression).

I get into dinner and see that it is chicken with small servings of veggies. Not bad, only C is vegan! So her big going-away dinner was a few un-seasoned veggies! But they gave us wine again.

Next the passive-aggressive assault was launched.

While picking coffee beans, we'd pulled the farm truck (the old, rusted out beat-up farm truck, not the newly purchased oft-used replacement that we are not allowed to touch) down so that we could turn up the radio and listen to some tunes. Apparently the Bs took umbrage at the interruption of their enjoyment of the quiet lower farm (they were picking up a ways). No request was made to lower the volume while we picked. Instead at dinner, a series of attacking comments were made about the racket being made, the noisiness we dumped all over the farm, and on and on. Attempting to change the subject I made mention of the fun the Bs seemed to be having as we could hear them laughing away. The response was a withering attack at me and how could I hear anything above the noise. While no request was made for more quiet, this morning as we walked out to pick more D was asked if he remembered what She-B had asked him. He said yes, though nothing was ever asked. Several other comments were made on our way out and throughout the day.

Next up, a commentary on my eating! Greatly annoyed at their attitudes, the lectures, and the food selection, I said very little during the meal. Instead I hurried thru my food and wine hoping for a quick end to the disaster. She-B said to me in a very snotty tone: "Why are you leaving all that meat behind?" Or something to that effect. I pointed out that it was all meat and fat and skin. Grunted noises followed. Now for those who know me, being told what to do, especially in a condescending way, is not something I am apparently equipped to deal with. Especially nearing 3 decades of existence by someone who is not my mom about something I am very accustomed to such as eating. Frustration level went way up.

When asked how much coffee cherry we'd harvested (115 pounds, a high for us thus far), He-B responded with a very condescending (a tone of voice he's perfected): "That's all?"

The rest of the conversation was not helped by the three of us. It was a bitter accusatory series of rants by the Bs. A huge turn-around (for no apparent reason) from the night before. Since they made mention of all the harvesting help they'll need in the coming months and the interns they don't have coming, we figure maybe they are not happy with us leaving. BUT, we gave them plenty of notice. I was supposed to have left a couple months ago. C was always going to leave tomorrow, and D...is cutting his stay short but with plenty of warning.

No idea where it all came from, but what a way to give someone a send-off! Polar opposite of how her friend was given the bon voyage. Unfounded nastiness.

Of course C is vegan, has dreads, and lives/believes in the organic lifestyle (like other farmers and workers of the organic nature. Yes, this is pretty much an organic farm recruiting farm help from organic volunteers. Yet the Bs can't seem to accept the organic way of life as acceptable. No, we have no idea why they bought this farm).

I can't wait to leave here on Wednesday and assist in the house-sitting. Hopefully I can avoid any sort of send-off dinner, especially if it will be of the same ilk as last night's.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Black sand beach 

Here's a pic of the beach we went to last Friday. Isolated and beautiful. No trees, but I didn't get sun burnt! Way to go me!

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Insane. In my opinion, all cats are insane. However, the cats here at the farm take the cake over any cat I've ever known (except for Gus, but he was/is a special exception. Just look at his owner). Never have I seen a collection of cats so intent on attention, and so forward at getting it. All of them head-butt you and force their head into your hands or legs or any body part in an attention getting maneuver. All the time. The meow and whine and cry and jump on you and claw you. Sophie, who is right now crying and wandering all over our studio, has ascended to the rank of Top Annoyer. She has been crying constantly. When she climbs up into your lap, she has all claws out and kneads your lap for long periods of time to 'get comfortable'. Not a nice thing. She is constantly around. If you are sleeping, she'll get atop you and pass out. She has her psychotic episodes late at night (like most cats?) which are made all the more nerve-wracking by her club foot and lone eye. Arthur, however, is the most persistent at getting pets. He will open-mouth nibble on any exposed skin until you pay him mind. I've been hiding under the sheets the last few mornings in an attempt to avoid his harassment.

Where is a good dog when you need one?

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Had some issues 2 nights ago. Reminiscent of Uzbekistan. Woke up around 3am and spent some quality time in the bathroom. Didn't eat all the next day and had a pounding headache by the end of the day (which I decided was mostly the result of no coffee all day. Guess I'd better cut back). Today has been much better. I've been able to eat without much issue.

Guess my guts felt a practice session was needed before heading back to Asia....

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Picture time 

Since my brain and creativity seem to be missing these days, I'll toss out a couple more recently procured photos. Don't be afeared, one day I'll cut my hair. But not yet. The first pic..don't ask. Bad borrowed shades. The second is us sitting around atop Waipio Valley. The third is me on Mauna Kea (about 9,500 feet).

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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com