Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Life in Cáceres Begins - The First Month

It's been a little over a month since we made our cross country move and we are now settling in. There have been a few hiccups along the way.

Take phone and internet service for example. After more than three weeks and four different installers, we believe that we finally have everything working properly. Things don't usually get done right the first time in Brazil. Our street is a great example of that.

The morning after arriving here, we found this hole dug out in front of our garage. The workers told us that they are preparing the road to be paved and they needed to dig this hole to see about water drainage.

It's almost a month later and it's still not paved and they've dug up that hole three times. Next year is an election year so the mayor is scrambling to pretty up the city and make people think he is actually doing something. Sounds like things are the same all over the world.

Course it gets worse when it rains. See for yourself

We had been here a couple of days when the rain poured down. It was a welcome relief from the continuous 100 degree heat but it made a real mess in front of the house.

Inside the house wasn't much different. The house had been empty for several months and many of the ceramic roof tiles were broken or cracked. We were scrambling for buckets for Lewis's room, our room and the kitchen. Thankfully all the broken tiles have been replaced.

That's great news because our rainy season is just beginning. Between now and the first of April we will get about 24 feet of rain. I'm not joking.

Even though we've had these difficulties, we are growing to love Cáceres. I think we will stay for a long, long time.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Getting Ready To Move

Now has come the time to say goodbye to the beach and move to the jungle. We've been living in Balneário Camboriú for about a year and a half. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. We are moving to Cáceres, Mato Grosso (which means "thick jungle") right at the heart of the Pantanal wetlands.
Last week we spent a week there preparing for the move. Here are some highlights:

This is our new home. It is the nicest house we could find and we really like it. There are several fruit trees such as coconuts, acerola, cashew (it is a fruit) and pomagranates. It is a little larger than our present house (thank goodness!) and it has a nice yard which we have missed. There is also an office space for me.

While we were there we decided to go fishing. It was a beautiful and hot day on the river but we had a wonderful time. Anna borrowed my camera and took some nice photos.

This is an eagle that we watched for about a half an hour. He would swoop down and grab fish out of the water.

We threw a prianha to this Jabaru stork. They stand well over three feet tall. He washed the fish first and then ate it. It was pretty amazing to watch.

This was Anna's first fish of the day, a nice big barbado catfish. They are real fighters but Anna wouldn't give up. Lewis caught seven piranhas that day. Marilze caught a dorado and is still bragging about it.

Everybody wanted to see the caiman crocodiles. Anna took this very nice shot.

Our last evening there, Anna took this stunning picture. There is no sunset like the Pantanal.
If you want to see more photos, just head to my flickr page at:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

To Russia With Love

I published this on my fishing blog as well because it is one of those stories that deserves to be mentioned more than once.

Everybody has at least one unbelievable story to tell. I have a new one it might just be one of the most unbelievable stories I have ever heard.

About two months ago, Eric Hanson, a longtime friend, was traveling to Russia. He was flying on S7 airlines and during the flight decided to look at their inflight magazine.

He started flipping through the pages and since it was in Russian (which he doesn't speak), he was just really looking at the pictures. He opened to an article that was apparently about piranhas. Being an avid hunter and fisherman it piqued his interest. When he turned to page 114 he saw something completely unexpected.

That is really me in the bottom left hand corner holding a piranha. Eric was shocked to say the least. He mailed me a copy of it when he returned home.

Evidently S7 copied this picture from either our website or my Flickr page. Either way, they didn't ask permission but I figure Russia is probably a lot like Brazil and they could care less.

It would have been nice if they had mentioned our business or fishing in the Pantanal but they didn't. They didn't even mention my name or Brazil.

I've written S7 requesting they acknowledge what they did and at least mention our website.

I'm not holding my breath.

You can see more of our pictures at:



OK, I haven't published anything for over two months and I sincerely apologize. My good friend Kerry Woo (the master blogger) told me this is a major no-no.

I do have an excuse. After my laser surgery, my vision in one eye came perfectly into focus. The other is perfectly out of focus. As you can imagine, this has caused me some difficulties. I can't drive well at night and I get disoriented when I do. I also have extreme difficulty reading.

These last two months may be the longest stretch of my life I have gone without reading a book. I have equal difficulty reading the computer screen.

It has gotten better as my mind has evidently compensated. I will have surgery on the other eye in a couple of weeks that will hopefully correct it.

I apologize for not posting. I will try to post as much as possible. After the surgery it should be more often.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Celebrating 20 Years

On wednesday this week, Marilze and I celebrated 20 years of marriage. We decided to get away for a couple of days and visit Canasvieiras beach in Florianopolis. Floripa (as the locals call it) is an island and our state capital. It is beautiful and we had a great time.

We stayed right on the beach and our balcony overlooked the ocean. This is the view from our balcony. It was overcast and a little chilly but that didn't bother us.

We were shocked at how few people were there. The stores didn't open until almost 5pm. Most of the time we were the only people on the beach. We felt like we had it all to ourselves.

We've been fortunate enough to have 20 very good years together and I expect to have many more.

A Request From The United Nations

Yesterday I received an email from Franz Dejon of the United Nations Energy Program requesting the use of some of my Pantanal photographs. They have asked to use them for Biodiversity Day which is May 22. They are hoping to bring awareness to issues like global warming and it's effect on different ecosystems.

While I don't agree with them completely about global warming, I am all for anything that increases awareness of the Pantanal wetlands.

Back in the day I was published a few times by the Westview for some sports photos but the photos they have asked for were from my first attempt at wildlife photos.

It's an honor just to be asked to be a part of this event. You can find out more about Biodiversity Day at this link:

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Blog Can Be A Dangerous Thing

I could write a blog solely telling stories about Mike Christian and never run out of material. Mike is a friend who I've known since college and he is the type of person who will say anything to anybody at anytime. He is more fun to hang out with than anybody I know. "A sense of entitlement" comes to mind when I think about Mike. Not that he thinks the world owes him anything. It's just that he's not going to play by your rules. Or anybody else's.

After working merchandising for a couple of Christian bands (and starving) he got some gigs with bigger groups. He's traveled with David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, Tim McGraw and many others. He's been on the road with Lynyrd Skynyrd for the last couple of years.

Now he has started writing a blog. This from a guy who wouldn't email me a few months ago because he didn't like typing.

He's blogging about working behind the scenes at the Rowdy Friends Tour, which includes Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr and .38 Special.

He has some great road stories. My favorite is the one where I guy walked up to his booth and said, "Give me a medium t-shirt and a 2X for my old lady".

I can only imagine what he is going to blog about. He'll probably write something he shouldn't and get fired. Whatever he does, it should be a fun ride.

Check out his blog at:

And his Flickr page has some excellent photos of the tour: