Friday, 27 May 2011

If We Weren't All Crazy

If you act crazy all your life, they'll never be able to commit you. ~ Rosemary Saucier #quote

You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy. ~ Charles Manson #quote

I'm only crazy when other people can't stand that I'm right. ~ Grace K #quote

Knowing that you're crazy doesn't make the crazy things stop happening. ~ Mark Vonnegut #quote

You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven. ~ Jimi Hendrix #quote

Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food.  ~ Austin O'Malley #quote

I'll take crazy over stupid any day. ~ Joss Whedon #quote

What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy? ~ Ursula K. Le Guin #quote

I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal. ~ Groucho Marx #quote

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?  ~ Albert Einstein #quote

Ouisa: "I'm not crazy, M'Lynn! I've simply been in a very bad mood for forty years!" ~ Steel Magnolias #linesfrommovies

Dreams, if they're any good, are always a little bit crazy.  ~ Ray Charles #quote

Even that crazy lunatic, my aunt the Empress, was absolutely sweet and charming. ~ Lord Mountbatten #quote

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must live. ~ Charles Bukowski #quote

Here’s the thing… I’ve already gone crazy once. I know what my limits are. ~ Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse) #quote

The only way to have a life is to commit to it like crazy.  ~ Angelina Jolie #quote

 If we weren't all crazy, we would go insane. ~ Jimmy Buffett #lyrics

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Cajas National Park

Travelling west out of Cuenca for about half an hour, one ventures into the Cajas National Park.  El Cajas is easily visited as the main highway from Cuenca to Guayaquil crosses right through the park.   You can get there by public transportation as well as car.  There's no fee if you are simply travelling through the park but fees apply if you plan to spend the day there. 

In the Park and the surrounding areas, more than 150 species of birds have been discovered. Their diverse value is amplified because they are unique species. El Cajas is an older area of the Andes without any active volcanoes. The peaks are therefore more eroded and thus lower. The region is great for hiking and trekking although reading blogs seems to indicate one would need a pretty good map or a guide if one wanted to go very far.

The park reaches its highest point at 4000m.  This high altitude region boasts of over 250 small lakes and ponds.  Those lakes are ideal for raising trout and sport fishing is allowed in them.  There are also several restaurants just each side of the park that specialize in trout meals.

Last time we travelled through the Cajas we asked our host how many llamas lived in the park.  He didn't know but when we went through the check gate he asked the guard there and was told there are 22.  We were also advised the llamas were from Chile.  Apparently neither llamas nor alpacas are indigenous to Ecuador although we were told vincunas are.  Wikipidia tells us that "llamas were not always confined to South America;  abundant llama-like remains were found in Pleistocene deposits in the Rocky Mountains and in Central America.  Some of the fossil llamas were much larger than current forms and some species remained in North America during the last ice ages."

This great park is also home to mammals such as the white-tailed deer, spectacle bear, puma, paramo deer, rabbit and the Andean tapir.  The Park also features some archeological Inca sites in the area of Molleturo.

Llaviucu is located at the eastern entrance to Cajas National Park.   Here you can find one of the few humid Andean cloud forests.

The name "Cajas" is derived from the Quichua "cassa" meaning "gateway to the snowy mountains" or "caxa" (Quichua:cold).  It has also been linked to the Spanish word "cajas" (boxes).

Cajas provides about 60% of the drinking water for the Cuenca area. Two of the four rivers of Cuenca originate from Cajas, the Tomebamba and Yanuncay rivers which eventually drain into the Amazon river.  As the park straddles the continental divide, its western drainage, the Balao and Canar link to the Pacific ocean.

It's an austere, humbling, varied vista seen while driving through the park and if you're lucky enough to get out of your vehicle, the air is crisp & clean & invigorating.  

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Music III

This is the third in our series of music worth remembering (in our opinion ).  When we started the initial blog (Music), we went through our CD's (we know we should have an iPod by now but we don't) and wrote down artists.  Going along, we also remembered artists we didn't own but certainly appreciated.  It turned out we had more songs than could be reasonably posted on just one blog.  Into the second blog (More Music), we checked sites on the net that specialized in listing hits for the 60's, 70's, 80's etc. and that helped us remember even more artists.  We did not simply list hits and have tried reasonably hard to not duplicate any artists on these lists.  These days, from time to time, one of us speaks excitedly to the other when we've remembered another artist.  Also people on Twitter have taken to sharing with us, and although we don't put every song suggested on the list, the folks out there have provided some happy finds.   There'll be at least one more blog after this one (maybe 2 or 4).  Still, we know we've got to have forgotten several artists.  That's why we're making the list. 

Monday, 16 May 2011

Bossy Thinks Out Loud

"I want to write a cowboy story about a new gunslinger that's come to town and is terrorizing the population.  He's a Man with No Name who fights dirty and shoots first" Bossy told Selfish during their first cozy of the day.  "I can't get started on it properly so I went on the internet and looked up 'cowboy stories'.  I couldn't believe it...there's a million of them and they're all written by really old men."

Selfish laughed, seemingly being well aware that old men wrote cowboy stories and plastered them all over the net.  "I know who your inspiration is for the gunslinger" he then told Bossy.  "Will he get his comeuppance in the end?"

"Of course" Bossy said.  "I'll have him stampeded by a marauding herd of wild llamas."

Selfish laughed again.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

All the Little Children

All art from a Childrens' Display at Cuenca's Museum of Modern Art
You are a child of the universe / no less than the trees and the stars / you have a right to be here ~ Max Ehrmann #quote

Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average. ~ Garrison Keillor #quote

Children are not less intelligent than adults; what they are is less informed. ~ Philip Pullman #quote

Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them. ~ Dr. Seuss #quote

I was a wonderful parent before I had children. ... Then I had three of my own. ~ Adele Faber #quote

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. ~ Abigail Van Buren #quote

The biggest lesson we have to give our children is truth. ~ Goldie Hawn #quote

Your emotional life is not written in cement during childhood. You write each chapter as you go along. ~ Harry Stack Sullivan #quote

One of the most important things we adults can do for young children is to model the kind of person we would like them to be. ~ C.B. Hillman #quote

What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give. ~ P. D. James #quote

So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world. ~ Isodore Duncan #quote

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment & especialy on their children than the unlived life of the parent ~ C. Jung #quote

Don`t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. ~ Robert Fulghum #quote

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. ~ Shel Silverstein #quote

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~ Frederick Douglass #quote

Given my heritage and the ordeal of my childhood, I sometimes wonder why I myself am not insane. Maybe I am. ~ Dean Koontz #quote

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it. ~ Harry S. Truman #quote

All of us have to recognize that we owe our children more than we have been giving them. ~ Hillary Clinton #quote

Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry. ~ Bill Cosby #quote

The child benefits more from being valued than evaluated. ~ Don Dinkmeyer #quote

Everything else you grow out of, but you never recover from childhood. ~ Beryl Bainbridge #quote

When you are dealing with a child, keep all your wits about you, and sit on the floor. ~ Austin O'Malley #quote

I wish to sing of my interior visions with the naive candor of a child. ~ Claude Debussy #quote

I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle #quote

The first principle of child-rearing is to choose a good mother. ~ Christian Morgenstern #quote

Beware of him who hates the laugh of a child. ~ Henry Ward Beecher #quote

Mother is the name of God on the lips and hearts of children. ~ The Crow #linesfrommovies

All God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable. ~ Fran Lebowitz #quote

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood. ~ Jane Yolen #quote

Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy. ~ Robert A. Heinlein #quote

Blame is for God and small children. ~ Dustin Hoffman #quote

Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.  ~ Lyman Abbott #quote

Acting childish seems to come naturally, but acting like an adult, no matter how old we are, just doesn't come easy to us ~ Lily Tomlin #quote

Our revenge will be the laughter of our children. ~ Bobby Sands #quote

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots.  The other is wings.  ~ Hodding Carter, Jr. #quote

The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind ~ Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind #quote

Parents are the bone on which children sharpen their teeth. ~ Peter Ustinov #quote

It is not enough to prepare our children for the world; we must also prepare the world for our children. ~ Luis J. Rodriquez #quote

During your childhood, people tell you to be quiet. When you are quiet, people tell you that you are shy. ~ J.B. Winge #quote

Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed. ~ Maria Montessori #quote

No one ever does live happily ever after, but we leave the children to find that out for themselves. ~ Stephen King #quote

Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shames, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision ~ Aldous Huxley #quote

A parent who has never apologized to his children is a monster.  If he's always apologizing, his children are monsters.  ~ Mignon McLaughlin #quote

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next. ~ Franklin P. Jones #quote

So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us. ~ Gaston Bachelard #quote

Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.  ~ E. Stone #quote

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. ~ Thomas Paine #quote

Man is not an end but a beginning. We are at the beginning of the second week. We are children of the eighth day. ~ Thornton Wilder #quote

As a child, I was an imaginary playmate. ~ Tom Robbins #quote

Friday, 6 May 2011

Ecuador Road Trips

We live in this country of Ecuador for many reasons.  Our own home land is Canada and Canada is generally cold.

Ecuador has cold places.  Some dwellings never seem to warm up, but mostly, being on the equator, it's quite least if you're a Canadian.

This is what we tell Ecuadorians who ask us why we're here instead of back in Canada.

We don't own a car.  This has more to do with determination than finance.  We travel Ecuador by bus or sometimes in friends' cars and consequently see the countryside (almost always green) in a series of mental snap shots blurred by speed through a window.  We take pictures which can only capture a fleeting moment and then we have to be reliant on memory to fill in the blanks.

Ecuador (and Canada too) are wonderful countries and for a heart that's willing to see, there are many similarities. 

Shelley's ancestors came from Norway and many of them settled in the green and blue mountains of British Columbia, Canada.  She was told the similarity was "like home" and that it therefore brought comfort, and the same is true for Shelley & Brian in Ecuador.

All the pictures (on this particular blog) are taken in the suburbs of Cuenca, Ecuador.

Should you wish to see other "Road Trips" of Ecuador (we live in Cuenca), click as is appropriate:   Around Ecuador, Saliinas, Montanita, Vilcabamba, Guyaquil.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Selfish Goes Momentarily Crazy

Between Bossy & Selfish they have 5 children: Smirk, Demure, Baby Boy, Solid and Loud.  At any given time the situation can be thus:

(1) Smirk has Multiple Sclerosis and for the last several weeks has chosen not to communicate. Selfish wonders:  Is Smirk ill(er) or is he just being uncommunicative?

(2) Loud has ceased communication totally because Bossy is "bad for her mental health".

(3) Pinky, Baby Boy's wife, has a basal cell carcinoma in her eye and Bossy & Selfish are trying to find out what that means. 

(4 & 5) As far as they know, Demure & Solid are on the same footing as per usual.  What that footing is cannot be easily described.  What is sure, is that they usually reply if they sense any level of panic from either Bossy or Selfish. 

It should be noted that Bossy & Selfish, living in Ecuador, are thought of as 'doing well' by the Ecuadorians in that they have 5 children.  Ecuadorians feel somewhat sorry for them because their children are a continent and a half away but that doesn't impair the bonus points they get in the overall kids still alive system.  In Canada the bonus system works under a somewhat different set of values. 

Selfish, worried about Smirk's MS and his lack of detail about his day-to-day life, wrote an e-mail to Demure asking her to report on Smirk's status.  Demure replied (in a reasonable time frame) that Smirk had told her that he'd just been in touch with Selfish. 

Selfish went momentarily crazy as he was now very confused.

Bossy reassured Selfish that Smirk was just being his usual self and that since Demure had provided a phone number, perhaps he should give Selfish a call.  Smirk moves on a regular basis and never provides phone numbers; being able to just pick up the phone and call was a real bonus.

Bossy was unusually tranquil.  This was because she hadn't heard from Loud now for several weeks.  The quiet, for her, was not a thing to worry about but simply a calm between storms.


Get used to it!  Bossy & Selfish had to. 

In the end, Selfish phoned Smirk and was told that everything was OK. 

Smirk has MS, Loud won't talk to Bossy, Demure is quiet, Baby Boy & Pinky live in young family chaos and Solid & her husband Brando are extraordinarily busy but...

All is well....

What more can you ask for?