Here we are, back in Ecuador after a visit with family in the States. Back there they are celebrating the start of summer, but of course for those of us south of the equator, yesterday was the first day of winter. The picture above shows the sun going down last night, as far to the north as we ever see it. This solstice is the longest day back in West Virginia, but here it is our shortest day - 11...

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Long time no blog, sorry about that. We're in the US right now, visit our east coast kids and grandkids. Most evenings we get back to the hotel with almost enough strength left to collapse. Fun, but exhausting. We fully expected things to seem a little strange, returning to the US for a visit after an absence of about 10 months, but I don't think we were quite prepared for this level of weirdness. Not only is there the overwhelming hate,...

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I often hear people cite "they speak a different language there" as a reason not to live in a foreign country - or for some, even not to visit. I also know expats whom, after moving to another country, refuse to learn any of the local language. In fact, some are even proud of their refusal to give up English as their sole means of communication. To each his or her own, certainly, but to me this is as hard to...

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I wonder how many people know the significance of June 3rd in the world of popular music? And this year, 2016 is the 50th anniversary of this important event. Give up? June 3, 2016 will be 50 years since Billie Joe McAllistar jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge. How many of you just heard a bunch of strings playing a descending scale? I'm speaking of course of the Bobby Gentry song, "Ode to Billie Joe", released in 1967, that starts with the...

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I once saw a quote from a writer, I think it was Robert Heinlein, who said "I don't like writing, but I love having written". It is not quite that bad for me, but I certainly understand where he's coming from. Overall, writing is a very satisfying and rewarding thing to do. But sometimes, the actual process is very annoying. Sometimes you have a phrase or an idea that seems to organize everything. There are times when the words just...

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I have a confession to make. I'm a serial monogamist. I know you're shocked. If you've seen my profile picture, your first thought was probably "Is that Brad Pitt?" Of course, your second thought was probably "Wow, he's really let himself go!" But it's true, all of this good stuff is being wasted on just one woman. It is not that I lack confidence or ego - I dare say I could sexually disappoint more than one woman at a...

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Another picture-perfect day in Salinas. May is a great month here, with most of the snowbirds gone, and kids back in school. We have a lot of days with blue skies, temperatures in the low 80's, and cool breeze coming in off the water. Rita and I took a beach walk in Chipipe yesterday, and plan on going back today for some lunch empanadas and maybe a coco batido. On our walk yesterday, I was marveling once again at all of...

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Rita and I just returned from an 8-day road trip through part of southern Ecuador (hence the gap in blog posts), and we had a really wonderful time. We saw some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet, and met interesting people in some great cities and towns. We know several people who have made trips around Ecuador and South America, but our trip was a little unique in that we decided to rent a car and drive ourselves....

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There's and old joke that goes like this; a man and his son are walking down the street, and they see two dogs having sex. The boy points and asks what's going on there? The father is a little embarrased, so he says, "Oh, the dog in back hurt his front paws, so the one in front is giving him a ride home". The kids replies, "Ain't that the way? You try to help someone, you get screwed every time"....

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I’ve got a little problem. I can’t remember where I put my pants. You see, we are about to take a drive into southern Ecuador, to explore some towns in the cloud forests, between about 6,000 and 8,000 feet in altitude. We are really looking forward to it. By all accounts it is an area of beautiful mountains, breath-taking waterfalls, and interesting people. But I need my pants! You see, we have been living in Salinas on the Pacific Coast...

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