20.1.08

Sweet Mother of Death

I don't like it that parents (a majority) in Guatemala give their infants candy.

I like it even less when they give candy to my infants. Back off sugar pushers. I want my children to have
  • appetites for non sweet foods
  • whole and white teeth
  • bodies they can run with
  • good metabolism

13.1.08

Music Mentors



Through my life, I have been introduced to many bands and singers that have stuck with me. This morning I put together a playlist to listen to during breakfast and a few of the bands made me think of these mentors.

R.E.M. was introduced to me by my grade 10 & 11 classmate Jennifer. She made me a mixed tape of "Out of Time" and some Pet Shop Boys. The Pet Shop Boys never really stuck. I'd always fastforward that side of the tape.

Manu Chao was introduced to me by college and traveling buddy, Ty. He discovered them while riding down a road in Tibet with some Europeans.

Arcade Fire, Great Lake Swimmers, and Feist were introduced to me by another college and traveling buddy, Kris. He gets a lot of his music from his roommate Glenn. They were still on the college scene when I grew up.

k-os was introduced to me by fellow cross-Canada cyclist and church co-worker Kurt. He gave me some tunes while he was discovering Motown.

Dave Matthews Band was introduced to me by one of my groomsmen and one of the greatest musicians I know, Justin. He likes a lot more pop, hiphop and jazz than I do, but still respect his taste a lot.

Audio Adrenaline, dc Talk and Sixpence None The Richer were introduced to me by my summer camp boss and good friend Todd. He found me at a time when I was craving Christian alternative music and he had a huge collection of the stuff.

Emmylou Harris and Cake were introduced to me by my own dear girlfriend Amber. I married her for her musical tastes (she almost lost me when I found out she liked Roxette).

Jean Sibelius was introduced to me by Kiki Boum Boum through my father. This Frenchman made some tapes for my father and I listened to them over and over and then I bought up every symphony of Sibelius on CD.

Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, U2, Bruce Cockburn, Daniel Lanois, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot, Sheryl Crow, Edie Brickell, and Stan Rogers are all part of my DNA as they were passed on to me through my papa. He's a musician and never stopped looking for music and building his collection of records (which were all lost), then tapes, then CDs.

Tracy Chapman and Van Morrison were introduced to me by my dear mom. We listened to Chapman's debut album over and over again on our 1988 move east from Alberta to NB.

Everything but the Girl was introduced to me by Daisuke, a fellow camp worker. He had a fabulous CD collection and this was one nugget I snagged from him.

Moby was introduced to me in the car on a drive to Edmonton with Brian. He explained to me that Moby was the most pursued DJ.

Jonathan Richman was introduced to me by a high school friend, Ted. He introduced me to all kinds of music that he got from his older brother (Cocteau Twins, Red House Painters, His Name is Alive, Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir). Ted later became a member of The Young and Sexy, an independent band from Vancouver. He always told me he would be a rock star when he grew up.

Family Update



My secret to having such gorgeous kids: marrying a Wonder Woman.



My son is a talking machine. He currently practices conversation skills and inflection. He's 2 1/2 today.



My daughter tuns 9 months today. She's funny.

Shock and Awe



First the awe. These three volcanoes are almost exactly 100 km from where I took the photo. They are (from left to right) Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango. They are the three volcanoes that tower over Antigua Guatemala, the tourist hub to the south.



Now the shock. Mild shock. This is in Antigua. Zach Braff would probably find this funny. Or maybe he would want some royalties.

inter-mitt-net



Sixteen days after my internet was cut off for one-day repairs, I have internet again. Sort of. It cuts out a lot more now and as of yet, I can't update my website significantly.

My ISP moved to another town, so the antennas that propel the internet around town had to be moved. My ISP used to live across the road from me, so I had the best signal out of anyone. Now the satellite dish is 1 km away and the signal goes from an antenna there to another 400 M, then to another 800 M and then to my access point 200 M. The signal diminishes with each antenna: 75% X 66% X 50% = 25%

I also had to invest into a new access point as the one provided by my ISP burnt out (who knows how) and a new antenna of 9 dB. Last night we got it running and finally got our emails. I had been checking mine occasionally at the office and at internet caf├ęs.

Yesterday, while attempting to catch up on three blog entries, a gravel truck took the power out of the school that houses antennae #2. So we were without internet for 24 hours again after a mere 14 hours with it.

Life goes on. It forces me to do other things like washing the car and learning the rules to LeTarot (a French card game) again. (I should really get to my documentary and to reading my books)

3.1.08

Traveling Light



Last weekend we drove to Copan, Honduras (again) to show April, my sister-in-law some of the sights. I skipped out on the ruins and took care of Acadia during that time so Amber could spend some quality time with her sister. Then in the afternoon, we headed to the El Jaral waterpark. Yippee!! There were three waterslides for adult-sized people and I hit all of them twice and then assumed some parental responsibility. . .



. . . like watching this sad little one. Acadia had a fever and a runny nose our whole time in Copan. Otherwise she was fine.



I also took Blaise around until I smacked my head a good one on a hanging bridge. It's still tender 5 days later.



Some orchids were in bloom at the butterfly orchid place. Most of the orchids bloom in January and February, some for just one day and other for a week or a month. We were lucky to see these ones.



One way home I stopped to see where the stoves I've been delivering and installing are made on the outskirts of Chiquimula, Guatemala. It was closed.



Also on the way home, we stopped in to see April's sponsor child, Byron. It took us 4 tries before he was home finally.



His older brother was flying a homemade kite.

Oh, and one of my recent favorite songs is Traveling Light by Eric Clapton from the album Reptile.

2.1.08

sleeping with the creature

Besides the scabies that we have had a close encounter with in recent weeks, I have had the unique opportunity of sleeping with my son as we have been on holidays: 2 nights in Honduras and 2 nights in Antigua Guatemala. When we sleep in hotels, I am the designated sleep companion to Blaise and Amber sleeps with Acadia.

Blaise can't fall asleep unless everyone goes to sleep - if there is light, conversation, any opportunity to play, he stays awake.

Blaise shifts and turns and wiggles and sits up and crawls deep under the covers for about 40 minutes while I lay still and remind him to stop moving, lay down, and go to sleep to which he replies "oh, yeah, hee hee, sorry."

Blaise talks to himself under his breath and sometimes out loud in his sleep.

Blaise kicks me in the gonads at least five or six times in the night.

Blaise snuggles with me before finally drifting off, but this includes repeated karate chops to the windpipe.

Blaise falls out of bed if no one blockades him in on the bed. I know this.

Gotta hang on to these precious moments.