R.I.P America  b. 7-4-1776 d. 11-9-2016 What the hell, Uncle Sam, you had a good run. I guess all things must come to an end, I just didn't think that when the time came it would be at our own hands. I'm trying to keep a positive frame of mind, but it is hard to be happy about anything today. It is indeed the death of reason. Is is also the death of facts. Most of the blame can be...

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The first thing you notice are the birds, hundreds of them circling in the distance. Then as you get closer, you see that you were wrong – there are THOUSANDS of birds! Nothing as ordinary as seagulls, these are big frigate birds, some with wingspans of five feet or more. As you continue down the hill on the new road to the Puerto Pesquero (fishing port) of Anconcito, you also see the flock contains pelicans, some so large you can...

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There is a popular saying that "ignorance is bliss". That may be true, but only for the ignorant. We may be on the verge of finding out just how non-blissful ignorance can be for the rest of us. We have for the first time in our nation's history, a candidate put forth by a major party who is the very epitome of ignorance. Mr. Trump has raised ignorance to an art form, almost a badge of honor. And he has...

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Since several people have asked, here's a quick Inca Trail update for you. As of today (November 1, 2016), it is exactly 300 days until we start our trek. That's 9 months and 27 days of preparation left. Let's go to the numbers! We are in our 81st day of training. We passed a big threshold over the weekend, clearing the 500 mile mark on our exercise walks. As of this afternoon, we are at 514 miles and counting. We...

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I started this article, choosing the title "Light at the End of the Tunnel" on Friday morning. At the time, it seemed like after a crazy year in the most bizarre election of our lifetimes, things had finally settled down. It was no longer a question of whether Secretary Clinton would win, but how much of a margin she would win by, and more importantly, how the Senate and House races would be affected. Before I could finish the article, FBI...

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People always want to know what health care is like when you choose to live overseas. So I would like to share with you my experience from last year, dealing with a problem that required surgery. First off, Rita and I have not signed up for IESS, which includes national health insurance here in Ecuador. It is very affordable, but we do not like that we could only use the designated state doctors, hospitals and clinics. We prefer a little...

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    Does anyone else feel like many Americans do not understand what a debate is? The "winner" is not the one who talked loudest, interrupted most, hurled the most insults, or got in the most zingers. A debate, a Presidential Debate especially, is supposed to be a place where each participant gives detailed answers about their proposed policies and how they will implement them, and why they think their way is best.     While Secretary Clinton did move away...

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I know it is not news you expect to see someone pleased about, but I am happy to be obese. The thing is, I've entered obesity from the other end - I'm no longer "morbidly obese". As you can see from the ever-so-cute Mii in the picture above, my needle is no longer pinned up off the chart. I've dropped below 35 on the BMI scale, and have therefor officially entered that land that 70% of Americans occupy. In order to...

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Recently, Rita and I took a week long exploratory trip up the coast, along the "Ruta del Sol" of Ecuador. When we announced our plans to friends and family back in the States, I was surprised at how often we heard some variation of the admonishment to "Stay safe!" Now I know that usually it is meant along the lines of "drive safely", but sometimes there was a darker undertone as well, an idea that we should keep in mind...

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In one respect, this is a difficult time to be living in a foreign country. It is hard to explain to Ecuadorians exactly what is going on in the Presidential Race in the US. You get the feeling that they think it must be some sort of American humor, that there is a joke they are just not getting.  Some sort of prank we are pulling on the rest of the world, and that anytime now Ashton Kutcher is going...

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