If you have never been truly fat, you cannot appreciate the thrill and the power of 10's. To fully experience it, you must be at least obese - morbidly obese is even better. Let me explain. In January of 2009, shortly after my wife Carolyn died, I was in that morbidly obese category at 319 pounds. "Morbid obesity" is defined as being 100 pounds over your ideal weight (check) and having a BMI of 40 or more (double-check). There's a long...

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I promise not to bombard you with Inca Trail Updates, but I've had so many emails and comments that I wanted to get in a quick one today. Your comments have ranged from "you should be applauded" to "you should be chemically altered before you become a danger to society". We've also heard some good tips on fitness prep and gear to bring. We appreciate all of the feedback. This is Day -373, or in other words, 373 days before...

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It is interesting how sometimes the smallest of events can bring about big changes. Just a week ago, we were living our day-to-day lives, still enjoying the buzz from a wonderful trip to Quito and the Cotacachi area. We spent part of an afternoon talking to a friend who brought us some info on applying for our Ecuadorian citizenship at the end of the year, and within just two days, we suddenly find ourselves making a year-long commitment to train...

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Every time we think we have experienced just about everything in Ecuador, we always find something brand new - to us, anyway. The most recent time, it was when we went to a local restaurant with some friends to try their almuerzo, or lunch special. Typically this is a lunch that includes a soup, meat or fish, rice, a bit of salad, and a juice. Sometimes there is only one option, sometimes you may have your choice of meat, but they are...

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Sorry about the delay in new posts, but Rita and I just spent 10 days exploring parts of the northern Andes in Ecuador. Once again, we are almost overcome with the beauty and variety that this small country has to offer. I'm sure there will be more details on our trip here and in various International Living publications and web content, but for now, let me give you a brief overview. We started by flying into Quito's airport on a Friday, where...

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I thought I could ignore the goings-on this week, and just let it all slide. After all, like most Americans (if polls are to believed), I really don't like either candidate for President. I got no horse in this race, no dog in this fight, no clowns in this circus, no turd in this bowl, whatever metaphor you prefer. But if you've read some of my other posts, you know that something that gets right up my left nostril in...

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"Honey, we're out of eggs. I'm going to the mercado, do you need anything?" "Yes, we need poop bags for the dog," my wife replied. For those of you without pets, she meant for me to pick up a pack of small plastic bags used to collect and dispose of the little gifts our Corgi leaves around the neighborhood. So this morning, I set out to the mercado for poop bags and eggs. As I walked to the market, I...

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Two friends we made here in Ecuador decided to sell their homes and move back to the US recently. They enjoyed their time here, but for various reasons had to move on. We will miss them, but wish them the best in the continuing adventure of their lives together. Their departure reminded me of an interesting discussion I saw a few months ago in social media. A blogger was convinced that the “retirement/travel industry” was hiding a deep, dark secret...

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We had a close call the other day, and we may not be completely out of the woods yet. We woke up Thursday to find my wife's 11-year old Corgi, Joey, who is usually in the bedroom before sunrise, huffing and puffing for someone to get up and feed him, lying on the floor in the dining room. He was not moving much, and at first, my wife thought he was dead. She saw he was breathing though, massaged him...

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Jerry Seinfeld once pointed out that in surveys, people consistently list "public speaking" as one of their biggest fears. In fact, it usually ranks higher than "fear of death". Mr. Seinfeld points out that this means for most people, if they are at a funeral, they would rather be the one in the box than the one giving the eulogy. This is certainly true for myself, which always surprises people who know me, and some of the things I've done in...

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