Tuesday, May 23, 2006

You know most people pray before they eat a meal, but not me. I thank the Lord after a good dump. Once it's gone all the way through your system. Actually, there are few things I look forward to more than a good dump. You know, there are the times that you know a good dump is coming, and you can't wait to get it out. But it's really upsetting when it turns out to be a bad dump because you got your hopes up for nothing. But then there are the unexpected ones. Just a nice treat to end the day. Anyways, after a really really good dump, I always think to myself "Praise Jesus" . . . don't know when that started. There's just something about a great dump, you get the chills all the way through your body. I've heard that during child birth, once the child passes, it's like taking the greatest dump of your life. That really gives me a case of Vag envy.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Honduras Day Five
Everyone wants to go to Copan to see the Mayan ruins. It's Sunday so we can't get the car fixed, and this place is a good 3 hour drive. I advise we sit back wait a day, and get the car fixed, but Glen assures me that the soap is holding well and we can make it. I don't really think it will, but I made my vote, he overruled it, so I figure he will be responsible for anything bad that happens to the car. So I tag along.

We make it to his buddy's house in San Pedro, and then oil leaks all over the street. Fortunately, we were two houses away from the mechanics. So we borrowed his friend's car and watched that movie, Hostel, and it was good to have a day just to sit back and relax.

Honduras Day Six
We finally get the car back at about 4:00 p.m., and it was me who ended up paying out $50 to fix the car, and Ellen payed $25. I was not happy about paying for something that Glen broke, and I was not happy about the rate at which we were burning through cash. I start voicing up a bit, but they don't even bother to exchange more money into Honduran money.

Honduras Day Seven
We were finally off to Copan to see some Mayan ruins. That day, I learned the hard way not to eat at local stores because that chicken did not stay where it is suppose to.

Honduras Day Eight
Something must have happened. I don't remember though.

Honduras Day Nine
Waterfalls - we hiked underneath the waterfalls to where the water was so dense that I had trouble breathing. We ended up in some cave.

Later I try to go to the lake. After a 3k walk, I find that I have to walk through about 200 meters of mud and standing water to make it to the lake. So I turn around and decide to swim in the canal. I meet up with Ellen and we jump in. That Canal was FILTHY. I got the Heebee Geebees in that nasty water. There are times that I have pushed the line of being adventerous into doing something stupid. Well swimming in that nasty canal completely broke the line, and the adventure factor wasn't even there. As stupid as I thought it was, there was a minute chance of me getting deathly ill, and we had antibiotics in case we got a little sick. However, leaving some white girl alone in her bikini at sunset was significantly more dangerous, so I completed the swim to the bridge.

Honduras Day Ten & Eleven
Beach, nothing exciting. I decide it's splitsville from the group and make it to Utila, a Caribbean island.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Honduras Day One -

Well we get off the plane at San Pedro Sula, and then we had to come up with a $1500 deposit for the rental car. So we spent a while hanging out at the airport waiting for some funds to transfer. Then we drive to the town of Pena Blanca where we stay at Ellen's Aunt Eileen's house, and then we went to visit the orphanage. There was a group of 3 little babies just walking around completely unattended. One of them came up to me and reached up for me to pick him up, but then a baby dropped some food on the ground, and suddenly he was all about getting some of that food. I was quite proud of the little one not letting any food go to waste, so I put him down and let him go for it.

So Eileen takes me on a little tour and tells me about the hospital. Apparently some of the kids are dropped off by their parents because the parents can't feed the malnurished kids. So the hospital keeps them for about 6 months, gets them healthy, and sends them back off. And then other kids are abandoned and live at the hospital. While we were leaving, one of the kids pokes his head into the car, and Eileen tells us his story. When he was one year old, someone told his dad that the kid was conceived by another man. So, the man locks his kid into a shack for the next three years, and receives very little human contact. Finally, his mom decides that she can't let her kid be treated that way and finds a way to take the kid to the orphanage. Well the story doesn't end there, this man practically enslaved his entire family in leather working, and had actually killed a couple of his own kids. Beyond that, the man married one of his daughters who beared 5 of his children, 3 of which were complete imbeciles. The problem is that these things are against the law in Honduras, but there aren't funds to really enforce any of the laws. In order to prosecute this guy, a person would have to pay a lawyer $300 to go after this guy. Ironically, the guy had spent some time in jail, but his own kids came to bail him out. I suppose that even though their life was pretty bad, at least their father made sure there was food to eat.

Well that was the orphanage.

Honduras Day Two -

So Ellen's Mom wanted us to actually accomplish something on this trip along with actually having a good time, so she did some research on this lake 3km from the hospital called Lake Yojoa. Lake Yojoa is the biggest lake in Honduras, and it is inside an extinct volcano, so it is high in elevation. It's also near the biggest mine in central america called the Mojito Mine, owned by a Canadian company. Testing from years ago showed a higher concentration of heavy metals in the lake that could only be caused by the mine. Apparently little has been done since then to stop further contamination. Our job was to get some water samples to find the current state of the lake. Well, Ellen's mom knows a crapload of people because she also found us a contact whose sole job was lake conservation. Unfortunately, she was funded by a Canadian company. She told us that the real problem was the lack of good septic systems for people living next to the lake. Another problem was the algae created by these huge fish farms owned by a Swiss and Israeli fellow. Apparently they had been moving their operation all throughout central America from lake to lake, paying off governments, and destroying every lake in their path. Then there was the problem of construction runoff from the city of Las Vegas, and finally the largest mine in all of central America was only a minor problem. Get it, MINEor problem.

So we make it out to the lake, and rent a boat for a tour around the lake, stopping next to businesses, the canal, the fishfarms, the construction runoff, and the mine. Then we'd take the samples a meter deep and toss the samples into the boat. It wasn't the most scientific process, but it will certainly suffice to identify any major problems. Empirically, I can certainly say that the most algae was next to all the slums which would be the place with the most people and the worst septic systems. I really didn't want to jump in the water there so Glen took care of business for me. In the end none of us got any staph infections or stomach sicknesses, so it all worked out. Unless some of the heavy metal contaminated our bodies. Then we'll die of cancer in 30 years.

The fish farms. It got an eerie feeling being near them.

Honduras Day Three -

Ellen was pheoning for the city, so we took a 2 hour drive to Tegucigalpa, the capitol of Honduras, a city in the mountains. On the way there, we stopped for food at a place where all the entrees were made out of corn. I swear to god, Hondurans can make more than 100 meals made out of only corn and beans. I also saw a couple of monkeys at the place. Seriously, what type of vacation doesn't involve seeing some monkeys.

So we make it to Tegus, and from Honolulu, I'm use to seeing houses line the mountainside, but the mountains in Tegus were filled with houses. Each mountain was almost like a giant skyscraper made out of shanties. It really was an amazing site to see. First off we stopped by a fruit market where everything was 50 cents or less. It made me quite happy to buy cheap fruit. In Tegus, we got to go to the mall. It was the first sense of civilization that I've felt since being in Honduras. I felt calm and relaxed. I could finally walk into the Bed Bath and Beyond, and get a sense of home. I could just bury myself in towels with floral patterns and feel secure. Actually, I didn't find a Bed Bath and Beyond, but the Popeyes, McDonalds, Subway, etc. in the food court was quite reassuring. Either way, even at the mall, I didn't see all that many white people. I only saw 2, and they had to be pointed out to me. Glen claims there were many more.

Monkey's are awesome

City in the Mountains. The resolution doesn't do this picture justice.

Honduras Day Four
I took a jog to the lake in the mourning. Those Hondurans must have thought I was crazy. Some Gringo running around for no reason at all. People who live off the land, and sweat all day don't go workout for fun.

Then, we took a busload of orphans to the hot springs. The girls sang on the bus the whole time which must have been 1-2 hours. The hot springs are caused by an underwater river that runs next to lava underground. There was a cave that felt like a sauna, and there were several places where steam was shooting out of the ground. The whole place reaked of sulphur. I think it was caused by thermal bacteria. This type of bacteria is such a distinct life form that just a few years ago, biologists decided to modify the entire classification system for all life forms. The strongest bonds in proteins are the covalent bonds between two sulphur molecules from different amino acids. So this bacteria naturally will have more sulfur in the proteins so they don't break down in the heat.

Then on the way back, Glen is driving like a mad man down this gravel road, and by the end of the trip, we have a hairline crack in the oil pan. We stop, and fill the crack with soap, and refill the oil, and to my surprise, it gets us all the way back home, and holds for an entire hour.

That night I suggested we pick up some beers. It was raining and everything was closed, so our excursion turns into a trip to a karaoke bar in a Hotel. There were two guys that just kept taking turns singing latin love songs. I swear to God, they probably sing all night every chance they get. So the three of us sing some songs together on the karaoke, and then I get the microphone for a solo of Micheal Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" That's a hard F'ing song to sing, and I looked like a freaking idiot.
Sauna Cave

These kids were jumpping off rocks, pushing each other, and all kinds of dangerous stuff. Any American Mom would have gone nuts, but the adults that were there didn't even really watch the kids. I think there were 2 people who actually kept an eye out for the kids.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Random Thoughts

--Let's pretend this. There is a meaning of life, and beyond that, God comes down, does some David Blaine shit to prove that he is indeed God, and then tells you exactly what the meaning of life is. Then your job is to go around doing exactly as God told you to. IMO, that's no fun for me, and no fun for Goddo either. Life's just a creation. I'm creating it, God's creating, and so are 6 billion other people. That's not the truth, but it's what I chose to believe.

If I were God, and in my infinite wisdom could create anything, I really can't imagine anything better to create than this journey we call life.

--I realize why I like swimming so much. It's so simple. There is very little to it, and yet the entire time you trying to be aware of every little thing that is going on. The rhythm of your body, breathing, floating, the waves. To me, it's a spiritual experience.

--Gilf is the new Milf

--I am one of the most antiwar people you will meet, but Iran is a real and serious problem. However, now we can't take care of this problem diplomatically thanks to Iraq, and we can't deal with it militarily thanks to Iraq. Thanks a lot George Bush.

Mark my words, this problem is only going to get worse. It could possibly escalate into world war. I've heard rumors that the U.S. will nuke Iran, and Israel will claim that they did it. Once we attack Iran, either the rest of the muslim world will turn against us, or we will be stuck with the occupation of 2 countries, causing civil war to be inevitible. Our economy will be SEVERELY crippled, and you will start to see Vietnam-ish veterans. A Ghandi-esque president might be able to pull something off. Barack Obama is the only person even close to that description. BTW, religious genocide of both Jews and Muslims is also a possibility.

--In a way poker is like all of life boiled down to it's simplest components. That's why I think the game is so successful. A poker tournament is similiar to living an entire life. In any situation, you can either raise call or fold. Do you want Ice cream? Raise, I'll get the extra large. Will you marry me? Fold! Wanna run around the house chasing each other with a pair of scissors? Call.

And then there is the good old "all-in" move. Eston, my pro poker friend, use make fun of me for loving to go "all-in" so much. I really do take it a bit far. Don't like the job, quit and become a doctor. Not sure about the doctor thing, I'll go to the beach and play poker for a living . . . if you keep going "all-in," you will get busted eventually. But for me, it's ok, because I don't have a lot to go all-in with. No kids, girlfriend, nor any responsibility in general.

The overall game is just like life. If you sit around, making slightly good decisions, waiting for good cards, you'll be a winner. Just like life, if you sit around saving money, grinding out a career, you'll retire a happy person. However, just like in poker, waiting for good cards is BORING! Life ain't much different.

One other thing, In poker, you have the rake, the money the casino makes. Well in life there are rich, rich people making butloads of cash off all the decisions you make.