No Fail Friday or “How to enjoy your weekend without thinking about work”

As a programmer, I have adopted an extension of the “0 Inbox” idea. I call it “no fail Friday”. Basically, all week long I add tests – one at a time – to the current programming project and work on them till they pass. If all my test are working and have been rolled into [...]

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5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Move Towards Location Independence

Minimize You may not want to live out of a backpack but learning to make the most of a few things when you don’t have access to ever gadget under the Sun will go a long ways. Reduce your kitchen to one pot, one pan ( or better, one all purpose cooking container ), one [...]

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Things I learned on the PAN AM Highway trip

There will be chaos – The Mexico/USA and Peru/Chile borders where organized and easy to migrate through the process, everything else is some level of chaos. In Latin America, it is OK to stare at womens’ tits – Often they will go out of their way to make sure you see them (the ta-tas) Eat [...]

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How to utterly fail at Teaching English as a forgein language Part 2

Right after writing the first post about not finding or putting together sustainable work teaching English, I got a job teaching English in Temuco. Temuco is an hour and half bus ride from where I live. The job was with a one of the major language institutes here in Chile, the name is like a [...]

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How to utterly fail at Teaching English as a Forgein Language

Go to any expat living, location independent, continuous travel website and you will find the obligatory list of ways to make money on the road. Topping this list most of the time will be “teaching English”. Statistically speaking, there are more jobs than teachers. So the idea is, you get certified – which basically means [...]

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The Best Upset Stomach Remedy

We have all been there. Stomach bug, too much to drink (or not following the rule on not mixing), ate something bad. Whatever, you’ve been vomiting and nothing seems to calm your stomach that is acting like a Mexican drug cartel on Friday night in Juarez. After years of field research I think I have [...]

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Cultural Communications Standards

If you have military experience, college, or sufficient time in corporate America, Europe, Australia, or New Zealand you will have learned that the responsibility for ensuring clear communications rest with the presenter. Responsibility that the information being presented is heard, understood and if appropriate agreed to, rest with the person presenting the information or agreement.  [...]

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How to Sharpen a Knife

Sharpening a knife is a pretty simple task. For me, a knife is sharp when I can slice a juicy ripe tomato into 1/8 inch slices or finer without crushing the tomato; you can also use the paper cutting method. The knife is so sharp that its weight and drawing the edge over the tomato [...]

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Fire Burning in Wood Stove (heater)

How to Build a Fire in a Wood Stove

Building a fire in a wood heater or wood stove is not the same as building a fire in a fireplace or a camp fire. If you know how to do those things, great, that will help you. But, the layout is different for the wood heater or stove. In a wood heater or stove [...]

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How and When to Bribe Government Employees…

…outside the United States. First, if you are a US Citizen, this is against the law. But so is speeding. If this posts makes you think I am unethical, then you don’t know me very well and Why I think Ethics are Bullshit.There is a game. The rules were developed long ago. All that needs [...]

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How to pick wild blackberries (mora)

In this article I am going to give you the rundown on picking wild blackberries here in Southern Chile. They grow in just about ever unmaintained piece of cleared land; you do not have to look hard to find them, they are everywhere. So if your are here form about the end of February till [...]

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Save the Day, Make’em Rich, Get’em Laid – The Truth About Leadership

There seems to be an uptick in interest in leadership these days, especially among Gen Y. So I started thinking not about what leadership is – cause there are plenty of resources for that – but why we follow leaders (or something that looks like a leader) in the first place. Are we sheep or [...]

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Picking Blackberries

Picking Blackberries

Blackberry (mora) season has arrived here in Southern Chile. Here in Chile blackberry bushes are generally considered a plague. They are invasive and with no nature predictor here they tend to take over just about any cleared land that is not maintained. What this means for people like me that love blackberries, and blackberry marmalade, [...]

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The Only Two Knives you will Ever Need at Home or Away

Let’s face it, the modern kitchen is over hyped. And almost nothing is more hyped than kitchen knives. The knife is the workhorse utensil of the kitchen and everyone wants to tell you have their chopping device is going to make this work easier. I am here to tell you, that with two knives and [...]

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My blog post on Adaptu – tracking expenses while traveling

With exchange rates constantly changing, it’s important to track your expenses overseas so you don’t get caught spending A LOT more than you think. My post over on Adaptu gives you tips on keeping your money straight when dealing with fluctuating exchange rates. https://www.adaptu.com/community/money-management/blog/2011/03/08/dont-let-the-finance-monkey-steal-your-good-time-traveling

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Urban Trails

Urban Trails

One of the things I love about being in a new place is scouting the ins and outs. I have often received remarks from people, who have more time in a place than I, how much more I know about the layout, where things are and secret spots. When I arrive in a place I [...]

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Always be prepared for an Adventure

I was never a Boy Scout (Indian Guides for me) but the idea holds the same. Adventurers are leaders and leaders are prepared. This doesn’t mean having a trunk full of outdoor gear or a 120 liter pack with the entire REI catalog in it. When you are prepared, you have the ability to take [...]

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Minimalist Cooking for Travel and at Home

Think cooking is hard, it’s not. I’m not talking about being a gourmet chef, I am talking about being able to prepare meals and snacks that taste good and are nutritious. Knowing how to cook gives you the confidence to travel where there may not be a restaurant, and outside the US, most good food [...]

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Favorite Local Foods – Chile

Do you have locally grown food? I was thinking about this last night as I went out back to get a mint leaf for my tea. In no specific order, my list goes like this: mint – my girlfriend keeps this in the garden year round. At night I can just go out an get [...]

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Organize for Adventure

How does organization help you be more adventurous? Let me start with the excuses I hear about not being organized, which generally boil down to misconceptions about what being organized does for you. By being organized, valuable resources – time, money, space – are not wasted in ways that return no or little value to [...]

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3 Falls (Tres Saltos)

We took a trip out to a place is call Tres Saltos (3 Waterfalls) this weekend. It’s about 40 minutes from where we live in Villarrica going towards Caburgua, Chile. As you might have guessed, the attraction is a chain of three waterfalls. They are on the same river and form a series so that [...]

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60 seconds to a more adventurous you.

Remember when you would play in the clothes rack at the department store? Remember when you would go run around the woods or swim in the lake or river, without supervision and especially if someone (probably a parent) told you not to. Remember when seeing what was behind the grocery store or riding your bike [...]

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Chillan and the Falls

September 2, 2009 I spent the night in a little bare spot next to the road just 200 meters from the falls. While the first night out I had wrestled around trying to sleep in the front while Levi slept in the back and the girls in their crate, last night I had an idea [...]

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Salto del Laja and Concepcion

Salto del Laja and Concepcion

Afternoon September 1 I returned to the lookout with the canons after having some roast chicken and french fries – man they love their fries in Chile. The dogs rested outside in the Sun while I took a nap and got in about 1.5 hours of rest. When I awoke, I took the footpath leading [...]

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Lota

September 1, 2009 The trip to Lota started off ordinary enough and until this morning, I thought this first leg of the trip to Ushuaia might be without incident. I left Villarrica about 6:15pm last night. Once on the highway (Ruta 5 – PanAmerican) I filled the gas tank. Gas at the first Copec was [...]

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Pargue National Huerquehue (where-kay-way)

My family and I visited Parque Huerquehue near Villarrica Chile on Saturday. This not only included myself, my sister and her husband, but my 8 year old niece and 6 year old nephew. We spent 6 hours in the forest, hiking, having lunch and taking in the incredible scenery; including waterfalls, and Arauncaria trees. While [...]

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Santiago Bus Race

While on my way back to the USA a few months ago, I flew out of Santiago, Chile. I have before and continue to equate the Chileans as the Germans of South America with their penchant for rules and efficiencies. But there are always exceptions and extremes. On the way to the airport, from the [...]

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Fruits and Vegetables

While speaking with a friend the other day, I commented on how good the fresh fruits and vegetables are here. This person laughed and informed me that all the best stuff goes to the United States and Chileans get what is considered ´second rate´. I don´t know what happens between when it leaves Chile and [...]

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Book Review – A Differant Drummer

Read it. Then read anything you can by E.J. Banfield. The insights and caveats of his time hold just as true today. Enjoy the prose on the nature of Australia. Yeah, thats the review.

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Thermals Pellaife

It´s no secret that Chile has a ton of thermal baths, termases; but if you haven´t ever visited such a place, you would not know that they can be an almost spiritual experience. After examining several sites and testing the water, I settled on Termas de Pellaife on Lago Pellaife. This place has the right [...]

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Hace Frio

a cold wet chill weighs the smoke from chimneys cords of wood the height, width and depth of a small house decorate the sides of homes or are sheltered in their own hovel the only warmth comes from the hearth and heart

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Back to blogging

It has been brought to my attention that I have been remiss in my blogging duties.  So stay tuned new post and pictures are coming, including adventures in returning to the US a few months ago and the ensuing drive from the US back to Chile. Also, more poetry and pics from Latin America. To [...]

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Gatos jugando

black and white tumbling black white, black white yin and yang rolling then darting in opposite directions like juveniles with spay cans rolled up on by paco black and white blurs running this way and that falling into a ball then rolling apart like two martial artist in a kung fu movie.

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Lago en la Mañana

The morning Sun is reflecting brightly off the water a row boat with two riders is silhouetted against the crystal orange fire I hear the trees rustle behind me as a cool breeze blows in across the lake made chillier by the warming rays licking at my skin the Volcano is clear, yet the far [...]

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Why do I pay taxes?

OK, I know why I pay taxes and even though I now live outside the country, I am thankful for still having a US passport and the privileges that come with it. However, with the announcement by the Treasury this week that it was going to buy up – I can´t remember how much – [...]

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Locked out

Friday night I grilled out for the first time where I had to start the parrilla. Getting the fire going is a story all on its own. I was outside and wanted to close the door so moths would not fly into the house. Well, I only meant to shut it till the latch touched [...]

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Kissing and how to offend a Chilean woman

Here in Chile, men and women kiss good-bye. Really you touch your right cheeks and blow a kiss at the right ear. There is no embrace and leaning in like this can place you off balance. I often find myself using my right hand to balance by placing it on the woman´s left shoulder. That [...]

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Laundry Day

Today was laundry day. Not because it is Sunday and I have time or anything like that, but because it will be 25 degrees cel. This is warm enough to get good drying on the clothes line and there is a light wind so as not to blow my cloths on the ground, but provide [...]

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Villarrica Volcano

http://www.povi.cl/webcam.html This link will take you to a live web cam of the volcano near where I live. It seemed a little more active last week and this got me thinking if I actually live far enough away. I is a wonderful site though and I stop to look at it several times a day. [...]

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This has to be an SNL skit.

Chilenos are very big on family. As apparent by the number of single young mothers in this country, but that is a different post. Anyway, I have been ¨adopted¨ by a local family. I know this because the mother calls me hijo or sometimes hijo perdido (lost son). And in the Chilean fashion, I call [...]

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Take your receipt sir.

In Chile, merchants are required to give you a receipt for ANY purchase over 150 pesos. Most hand write a receipt using a standard receipt book that I think they get from the government offices because everyone has the same thing. I get the same receipt in Santiago that I do in Chiloé. Oh, and [...]

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Enery efficiency

Unlike the US where we are the land of plenty, and therefore plenty of waste; Chilenos are much more energy efficient. One the ways I have adapted is in heating water for dishes and a shower. Houses and apartments here have gas flash heaters. I only do dishes in the morning, because I light my [...]

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Chileno Vagabundo

First let me put to bed a particular myth about Chilenos. I read over and over how the people of Chile are not as nice as the people of Argentina, Uruguay and such. This is a falsehood. They are just as warm and friendly, not necessarily as effusive, and therefore I believe, more sincere. I [...]

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dichotomy, gastronomy, juxtaposition and genuflection

So ugly things first. Someone broke the sacred trust of the hostel and stole some property yesterday. One guy had 400 dollars and a new sony vaio laptop stolen and my small camera. Now onto other things. I would say about the only Chile has in common with Argentina or Uruguay is Spanish and even [...]

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Cafe’ con Piernas

Before we get to the coffee with legs, we have to get to Chile. The trip was uneventful from my dorm till part way across the Andes.  It seems a storm built unexpectedly in front of us and the air suddenly got rough.  Although people were out of their seats, the pilot banked the plane [...]

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Punta del Diablo

Strangely, I have noticed a distinct lack of Americans the last three days. It seems that Americans stick to the “safer” areas. Well that is a sure fire way to miss out on the best parts of a country. Most people coming to Uruguay will end up in Montevideo and for beach side entertainment at [...]

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Chuy

Chuy is on the border with Brazil. As a matter of fact, the main drag thru town are two, two way streets separated by a grass medium. The South side is Uruguay and the North Brazil. Here you will find duty free shopping, more pirated and fake good than Korea and a weird Spanish-Portuguese dialect. [...]

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Uruguay

Leaving Montevideo my plan was to travel to Cabo Polonia and hide out for three or four days. Well as it turns out, I miss calculated my pesos and did not have enough to eat, stay and make it back to Montevideo on. Now, you have to know that Cabo Polonia can only be reached [...]

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Land Between the Lakes

After seeing some relatives in the Ohio Valley, I started my way back to TX. Heading out of Hillsboro, OH, I took route 62/68 down into Lexington, KY. The ride wound down through classic, small, mid-west towns full of old homes. Crossing the Ohio river into Kentucky, I immediately noticed something odd along the highway. [...]

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Returning to Lubbock

The gap in post was due to being in small towns in the Ohio Valley. I was visiting distant relatives all last week and along with travel through some equally rural areas left me technologically challenged. I have had and enticing opportunity come up and so I am returning to Lubbock early. As I write [...]

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Tellico Plains

After spending Thursday through Sunday at my mother’s in GA, I headed out Monday afternoon. That morning I selected a route going up route go up 5/515 then 68 and 360 to Knoxville. I wasn’t sure how far I would get and as these things go, not far. Leaving Cartersville GA, I took GA-20 to [...]

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Pathways and Passageways

Although I am an adult, I still have quite a bit of wanderlust. A couple of things that I have a particular weakness for are large culverts and certain types of bridges. The kind of culverts that draw me are the kind that serve as portholes in a large earthen mound. I just have to [...]

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Party

The Banana River is not like what most people think of when they think river. It is really a permanent flood plane that is so shallow you can almost walk across it. In order to make it possible for water craft larger than a canoe to travel it, a channel has been dredged. The effect [...]

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Guest House

One of the things I have always loved about travel is the people you meet. I met a couple of Dutch origin who have bicycled from San Diego to the Atlantic and are now going down to Ft. Myers. – for all you in Lubbok, they also said the friendliest people they met were in [...]

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Accomodations

The ride from Gulf Shores into Florida and down to Panama City was uneventful yet consisting of mile after mile of ocean views and a salty breeze. One of the things that I have noticed is how much more difficult it is to find just any old spot to throw in my tent. I started [...]

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How do you make a motorcycle float?

Put it on a boat. To be specific, a ferry. Yesterday morning when I arrived at the Alabama Welcome center, I intended on taking I-10 to Mobile and go from there. That all changed when I saw there is a ferry that goes across Mobile Bay from Dauphin Island. The ferry was leaving at 2pm [...]

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Criminal Offense

Tuesday night I hunted around for a camping spot till late. I finally ended up on a little piece of grass at the East end of the beach in Ocean Springs, right at the front gate to the USM Gulf Research Center. One of the Ocean Springs residence actually showed it to me and said [...]

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Engineered Madness

After packing up my wet sandy gear from Trinity River bank, I proceeded to drop the bike. In my defense, it was sandy and I was trying to pull onto the highway with spining out. No scrapes on the bike however, it broke the right foot rest bracket. It held till Lafayette, LA where it [...]

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Cut N Shoot

Spent Monday night on the sandy banks of the Trinity river in East Texas; after getting lost a couple of times. The standard Texas road map does not have details about back roads, so if you are going to be using FMs and such, get the Texas Backroads Atlas. Along the way went through a [...]

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BBQ again

May 18th. I made my way down to Lockhart, about two hours from Kingsland. I stopped because this is suppose to be the Bar-B-Que Capital of Texas. I decided I would try one of the local flavors for dinner. If you are unaware, there is a barbecue family feud here. Smitty’s and Krinck’s (?) are [...]

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Car Copulation

Alright campers, check your maps. If’n you ainta seein’ a tent there next to that there tree markin’ the State Park, ainta no camping. I had decided I was going to spend the night at Longhorn Cavern State Park, only problem is that they don’t have any campsites; and Inks Lake fills up fast. So [...]

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What are those bumps on the horizon?

The first day back on the trip took me out of West Texas and into Hill Country. Going South on 87, I went through San Angelo, then the trio of Eden, Brady and Mason. At Mason I picked up 29 to Llano then on to the area occupied by the Longhorn Cavern and Inks Lake [...]

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Oh deer!

The first stop on this trip was Ft. Davis, TX. Then I was going to to Del Rio by way of Alpine and Marathon. I spent the night at the Ft. Davis SP. The morning of May 10, after breaking camp, I headed out at about 7:30am; plenty of light. At about 7:40am, accelerating out [...]

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Skunk, Barbecue!

Skunk, barbecue, oil and wildflowers. In a car the the the environmental filter shields travelers from the aromas encountered on the road. However, on a motorcycle, everything and I mean every smell imaginable enters the helmet and is thrust against the riders olfactory gland. When I speak with people who have never ridden, the first [...]

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Lubbock in my rearview mirror

First I would like to thank God for blessing me with the resources to make this trip, that includes my sister and brother-in-law who are keeping my dog while I am away. And my friend Al who has continuously encouraged me to do this. I could not and can not do this without all of [...]

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