Sunday, September 21, 2014

Star Lit Nights

It was a dark and stormy night...okay it was a warm morning as the sun peaked over the horizon, finally breaking the clouds as we were off.  The Ecologic Retreat was underway, and our sails were filled by 6:15 am.  No idea what it is about sailing that captures me so; the waves, wind, silence.  I can honestly say only a mountain peak can compete.  Either place I feel like I could sit until I simply faded from oddly comforting thing.  Don't read me wrong, I love existing!  However to feel small, know that you are ultimately inconsequential...humility is powerful and centering feeling.

Soldier's Caye
Our destination - Goff's Caye (pronounced "key" for you main land Americans), an island the size of Chili's - but without the yummy food; no power, no services, no people. A 4 hour sail away outside the reef, which would be our chosen path in the amazing weather ahead of us - though we would need to be quick as storms were forecast for the afternoon.  As we passed St. George's Caye we could see an enormous cruise ship in the hazy distance parked in Belize City - which equaled hordes of tourists on our quiet paradise.  We made the decision to chance the weather and stop on a postage stamp sized island known as Soldier's Caye. We spent a few hours snorkeling and a bit of nervous time watching three water spouts in the distance - basically tornadoes over the water.
Impromptu from Soldeir's Caye

WATER SPOUT!!  Much more pronounced in real life - look just over the island.

15 minute old sushi
As mid-afternoon approached we pulled anchor, threw our lines back in the water and continued the voyage to Goff's.  Afternoon snack was served up in the form of a tuna that decided to bite the lure - 15 minutes from ocean to sushi in the belly...yummy.  We pulled up to Goff's Caye well after the tourists had gone; only a couple vendors cleaning up and preparing for their trips home.  Enough time to get in some snorkeling and island sitting before dinner!\

The next days are a blurry mess of snorkeling, relaxing, and searching for treasure (I spent a lot of time combing the shallows for lost tourist loot - found none).  Some of the highlights - tons of rays (one horseshoe ray that was bigger than a Fiat), learning that in shallow water sand reflects sun like the snow on a ski slope (turned me 'kinda' red), taking three naps in one day on a tiny un-inhabited island, spotted eagle rays, flounder, stars...I can't describe the stars.  If you've never been far beyond the reach of light pollution, with nothing electric to hum, then you can't possibly imagine the soul feeding ecstasy that is a silent, clear, unspoiled star lit night. The boat holds you close, rocking you gently.  The waves kiss the hulls, whispering sweet nothingness as the pass.

Goff's Caye - from sand bar

One night we saw an amazing lightening show about 20 miles south.  One morning we got hit with a huge storm - we couldn't see more than 50 yards and given the water spouts the day prior we had a few nervous moments thinking about what may come out of the dark.  Nothing did.

The journey back was an all day affair.  We traveled inside the reef, and along the back side of the islands.  Stopping in Caye Caulker for a bit of lunch, catching two barracuda and two red snapper on the way home (those 'cuda can put up a fight - I got to reel them in!).  Dolphins did grace us every so briefly with their presence.  One jump, a lot of distant breaches - but we didn't get to ride one.

Video will be uploaded on my FB in the "near" future as a share from Ecologic Company's YouTube channel.  I know the photo quality is poor...thought the GoPro would be sufficient, but it really isn't a camera at all - and failed epically at night (thus no star shots...which my 41 MP beast would've rocked out...very sorry I didn't bring it, guess I'll have to go back).  I miss you all.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dueling Paradise

Don't get me wrong; Belize is awesome.  I love the small, simple world I live in.  Doesn't mean I can't also long for the still quiet of a snowy night.

Dueling Paradise 
by Kendall Beymer

Surf always crashing,
Snow starts falling.

White capped waves,
White covered peaks.

One a reality,
Another a dream.

Hot humid sweat,
Cold dry chill.

Hustling bustling beaches,
Quiet calm forests.

Living one reality,
Dreaming of another.

Waving palm fronds,
Rustling pine needles.

Deep expansive oceans,
High stretching mountains.

Life in Belize,
Heart in Rockies. .

Invest in People

Being an entrepreneur that has failed more times than I've succeeded, I know the pain in loss and the joys in victory.  The craziness of of entrepreneurial victory is that it doesn't exist in the sense that ones usually considers a "victory", but it exists only in the ability to struggle toward your dream another day - and that is my victory.  Ever failure is a learning opportunity, every victory the same. So based on the Reflective Property of Mathematics - failure is victory.

The above is pretty accurate - but people need to know the mark of a true entrepreneur is that they are willing to hit the ground, and do it all over again, until the plane actually flies.  I fully believe the best investment you can make is an investment in people, and their dreams.

We have a notion that the world of investment works like Shark Tank - that TV show.  But to the vast majority of the world it is nothing like that.  In so many emerging markets $25 goes a long way and can start a person or family on a path to staining themselves and their families; and more importantly feeding their passion for creation, developing industry, and creating additional opportunities. - check it out.  There are other organizations like this, Kick Starter is the popular one these days I suppose.  Charity is great and all; but it's the whole "feed a man a fish vs. teach a man to fish" in my mind.  I like to teach a man to fish, and help him build an opportunity to create life from it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ode to Newquists

This was written then performed for Jason and Becky Newquist during the cocktail hour at their wedding a year ago (9/11/13 I believe).  I actually wrote the lyrics in the parking lot before the wedding.  I have a limited number of songs I can perform on the banjo and this one (converted from Will the Circle) is far to depressing for a wedding reception!  So the lyrics had to go.  I do think I have a knack for poetry and song writing...I should indulge it more now that I strive to create as opposed to just thinking about creating.  I however have very limited ability to compose original music.

So yes, I ripped off another song - credit Johnny Cash, or whoever composed the music I used, before him (and yes I barely changed the chorus - just enough to adjust the tone and give a more powerful message to my central theme).  No, I have not made any money off please don't sue me.  

I still hope to record it for you, Jason and Becky...just need a solid vocal.  

Ode to the NEWquists
by Short Bus to Know Where 

Oh that circle, shall stay unbroken
Bye and bye Lord, bye and bye
Till they're in that home a-waiting
In the sky Lord, in the sky.

Ja - son and Bex got Married 
Bout an ho - ur or so ago
Between them love shall flourish
We pray Lo - rd, make it so.

Oh that circle, shall stay unbroken
Bye and bye Lord, bye and bye
Till they're in that home a-waiting
In the sky Lord, in the sky.

Show - er them with Your blessings
Lo - rd hear our prayer
May they put forth every effort
Never forget You're there.

Oh that circle, shall stay unbroken
Bye and bye Lord, bye and bye
Till they're in that home a-waiting
In the sky Lord, in the sky.
Actual scribblings I made in the parking lot.  Verse Lyrics + chords

Lizards Don't Pay Rent

Wow...I knew things were different in Belize.  I knew things wouldn't be as easy as they are in the states, and that was made very clear today.  The work permit is a pretty major necessity so I can avoid a Belizean jail cell; but they are not easy to get.  Step one should've been easy.  It wasn't.  This does not bode well.

In the States, if you need a document, it can be printed from a website.  Not so much the case in Belize.  A work permit requires (among a stack of other things) a three page packet to be completed for submission.  This three page packet could easily reside on a government or immigration website...but no.  Too easy.  Finding it is 1/2 the battle.  No, 8/9ths of the battle.  I walked all over this little burg today in search of such.  I went to where the guy that took my photos told me to go, then where the immigration people told me to go.

Finally I found a place that sold them.  They were out, had been for weeks, no idea when they'd get more.  It rained on me...a lot (but I'm cool with it).  Eventually ended up back at the dive shop and reported my failure to Shelly, our GM.  One phone call later she lad located a stack at a local grocer...that was easy.

So off I strolled to Richie's Market (the closest to home of all the places I had been all day) and found a stack of permit apps.  For all the trouble I was expecting them to be under lock and key, individually numbered and protected with plastic.  This was hardly the case.  No numbers, no protection, just a stack of packets on the shelf right between the computer paper and wide ruled spiral notebooks.

So is the lesson that Shelly is awesome?  Or that the Asians that own Richie's Market are on top of everything?  Well the lesson I took from today - lizards don't pay rent.

Loving #BelizeanLife

Friday, September 5, 2014

Casa de Kendall

No excuses, doors are open, Casa de Kendall is open and ready to accept visitors.  I have two 'fold flat' sofa/futon things that seem fairly comfortable and a bunk bed in the bed room with a double on bottom and twin on top.  So the total immediate bedding is 7 persons; with plenty of room for an air bed or I just hope some of you folks actually do come and visit.  I figure if all my friends come at once then we'll just squeeze that 8th person somewhere!

I've also got two bathrooms; so no worries about congestion in the mornings. One of which has a separate vanity, so people can be all doing their hair and stuff while other people shower...super duper convenient.  Don't pay for a hotel people...if you really want to waste your money then I'll let you pay for my food!

One major draw back to an otherwise excellent place - no windows on the ocean side!!  I love sleeping with open windows, and ocean breeze is far better than an AC unit.  It's a fully secured building so I was really thinking I'd have some operable windows.  I do have a door to a shared back balcony...but no window.  Even then the door hinges are corroded shut - added to the repair list.  Yes, work is right there out my door.

Another major advantage - roof top 'party' area.  Not that I'm a big party dude, but I can see relaxing to this view -----------------------> and and ice cold Belikin in my hand.  While on the subject, they've started allowing a wider variety of imports; I've found Heineken (sp?), Guinness, and Smirnoff Ice.  I'll likely do most of my work up there too...take a mifi and work away.  Which mean my office, yet again, has no windows!!  I haven't had windows since Las Vegas; what an office, 75% floor to ceiling windows.  Though I spent more time watching planes land than working.  Maybe its a good thing most of my offices don't have windows.  Case in point - I'm writing a long blog and not working right now (though the shop is closed, we're getting killed down here by rain...I'm loving it).

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Mountain" Biking - Texas Style

Took the bike for out one last trip on some dirt today.  If you are riding in Houston Texas you should really bring about 3 times the amount of water you think you will need.  I only doubled my usual take - and it nearly cost me my life (possibly a 'slight' exaggeration there).

A few quick pics of some random stuff:

 Lots of varied beauty in the deep woods of Texas.  From rich over growth to swamps, and lakes.  Really very nice.  The creatures - they can be a challenge.

So the pic below is a demonstration of what you find at least a dozen times a mile...spider the face.  Lots and lots of webs hitting your face, clinging to your arms, you name it, you're getting a spider web on it.  And yes, of course those webs have spiders on them.  If you need to get used to spiders; maybe you're in training for Fear Factor (is that show still around? don't watch tv much).  Seriously the first mile I nearly turned around, but then I got used to where they would be and went to the side - seemed to work most of the time.  At some point a spider was not too happy with me about this tactic.  He climbed up my back, over my helmet and dangled himself right off my visor - he was all like "dude...what the hell?"  I know right!  A talking spider!!!

 I picked up so many spiders it was insane.  At least one stayed around long enough to make a nice web on my helmet - this is after the dangling talking spider.  I got back to my truck, took off a very wet helmet and it was 1/2 covered in web (though now that think about it I most likely just picked the web up on the trail and didn't notice it till the end).  Even the pick above; I had stopped to drink (already emptied the camelback and was on my sure why I didn't empty my bottle into my camelback...duh). Went to get on the bike and this guy was inched from my face.

The famous Texas hospitality applies to stick too, or so I thought.  I was ridding along and a stick started to get out of the way for me!  I was blown away watching the stick scoot along...then the bastard tried to eat me.  That wasn't very hospitable.  I considered stopping for a picture, but I was kinda lost, and being between health insurance companies I thought my best bet may be to just continue I did.

Finally found the lake I was looking for - it's Lake Isabel...not sure why Lake Houston Rec Area doesn't have a lake named Houston in it...oddly enough there is a lake named Houston just miles south of the area.

I stand amazed that I was in this park for 4 hours and I saw ONE other person...ONE.  What is wrong with you people.  I have to say; 86 degrees and humid is really not bad.  Sure I was completely soaked through in no time (literally not a dry bit of jersey or short...socks fared okay), but it was nice, kept me cool.

Notes for next time:

  • Wear gloves!!!  OMG my hands were such prunes they hurt to put on the bars.  Once again - no way to dry them
  • Knobby tires were the way to go...
  • By the time you see a turtle it's too late to get your camera out (saw a bunch)  
  • Moving sticks will bite you
  • Bring more water, then more than that
  • Just drive to CO and find a real mountain