Thursday, December 29, 2011

herding cats

It's not unlike herding cats.

This brief video, taken from my i-Phone, illustrates how three grandsons can be completely uncooperative, while giving the appearance of participating in a brief group video.

The occasion was a birthday party (for me) and Emilie (youngest and childless but holding her nephew in the video - right) gave me an Arkansas Toothpick for my birthday because presumably I needed one. The Romans would have called it a gladius... 

But I digress. Listen to the cooing and strange noises coming from composed adults, all in the effort to elicit a smile from a child. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Latin Rock

One of the things that I asked for this Christmas was music to complete my collection of the work of Santana. Carlo Santana is an old favorite of mine. Fortunately for me, the Christmas elves delivered.  (Thank you Amanda)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Your Mexican Get-Away

This Mexican Police Training Video demonstrates graphically how they extract information from those that they arrest. The first portion is sort of strange, showing a guy who threw up on himself, but then it moves toward their operational procedures. Like it, don't like it. Watch it, don't watch it. It can be disturbing, however it's part of every-day police and military operations in Mexico. No scars, marks or bruising results from using a bottle of soda water and a dirty rag.

For those of us who work in Mexico, this is something that you see, and it's something that is done. It might be disturbing to those who are safe at home in a peaceful country that is not at war.

It's just another day in Tijuana.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I've been viewing episodes of the popular television series, Lost, on Netflix. When it was on prime time, I didn't have the time or inclination to watch it and wait for the next in a sequence of episodes. As with many series programs, if you aren't tuning in from the beginning, there are things that simply don't make sense. It's much like beginning a 500 page novel in the beginning.

The first season begins with a plane crash that strands the surviving passengers of Oceanic Airlines flight 815 on what seems to be adeserted tropical island. Their survival is threatened throughout the season by a number of mysterious entities, including polar bears, an unseen creature that roams the jungle (the "Smoke Monster"), and the island's malevolent, and largely unseen, inhabitants known as "the Others". They encounter a French woman named Danielle Rousseau who was shipwrecked on the island 16 years prior to their crash. They also find a mysterious metal hatch buried in the ground. While two characters try to force their way into the hatch, four other survivors attempt to leave the island on a raft that they have constructed. Meanwhile, flashbacks centered on individual survivors detail their lives prior to the plane crash.

The second season follows the growing conflict between the survivors and the Others, and continues the theme of the clash between faith and science, while resolving old mysteries and posing new ones. A power struggle between Jack and John over control of the guns and medicine in the hatch develops, resolved in "The Long Con" by the machinations of Sawyer when he gains control of them. New characters are introduced, including the tail-section survivors (the "Tailies") and other island inhabitants. The hatch is revealed to be a research station built by the Dharma Initiative, a scientific research project that was conducting experiments on the island decades earlier. A man namedDesmond Hume has been living in the hatch for 3 years, pushing a button every 108 minutes to prevent a catastrophic event from occurring. As the truth about the mysterious Others begins to unfold, one of the crash survivors betrays the other castaways, and the cause of the plane crash is revealed. And that's where I am, with four more seasons of programming to view.

I became interested in the show because I hung out in the area where it was filmed on Oahu when I was there this past month.

For you Lost fans, these snapshots of landscape should look familiar.

And these snapshots from the set of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (link)

It should be released in February 2012 and I don't know whether or not it will be a good film. I can tell you that I visited the mysterious temple and showed my Sampson-like strength.
The Mysterious Temple ruins on the Mysterious Island (below)
This was filmed in the same place where they filmed Godzilla, Lost, Jurassic Park and a number of other Hollywood classics.

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