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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When considering whether to live in another country, the availability and cost of quality health care is always a big consideration. My wife and I have had personal experience with this in Ecuador, and all-in-all we have been very happy with our results. It is a difficult issue to compare, because it is almost impossible to do an "apples to apples" comparison. From the very start, Ecuadorians look at health care differently. Here the goal of doctors is to keep...

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One thing I really enjoy about living in Salinas, Ecuador is when we have an excuse to visit the 'Tad. That's what Rita and I call La Libertad, which is the next town inland from Salinas, and the commercial center of the peninsula. We love to jump on a bus and ride into the 'Tad. Although La Libertad is home to the modern El Paseo Mall, that is not where the action is, or where most of the locals shop....

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There was a cartoon I saw once on the Internet, and I just spent a fruitless 2 hours trying to find again. This was during a time when talking heads on cable "news" programs were explaining that a large part of the blame for our economic woes was the fact that teachers in Chicago were getting pensions. The cartoon showed three financial managers, dressed in pinstripe suits and smoking cigars, as they pushed wheelbarrows full of cash labelled "bailouts" out...

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