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May 31, 2006
The world's most dangerous train ride
The world's most dangerous train ride?
by Howie Severino.

Manila by train is like riding into war. The railroad tracks cut through some of the densest urban communities in the country. Irritated by their broken sleep or interrupted card games on the tracks, local toughies pelt the train with anything within reach. I was shooting (my camera) from the front of the train when I got hit by a piece of wood. I was lucky.

Train personnel show scars from rocks. That's why the conductors have screens over the glass windshields. The passenger cars have metal screens too but no glass, so wooden windows are pulled up in certain neighborhoods which are known to harbor shit throwers. Yes, some crazies wait for the train to pass so they can bombard it with poo-poo wrapped in newspapers, otherwise known as "flying saucers."

Others see the train as a convenient garbage disposal system: they throw their bags of garbage onto the moving roof and not have to worry about tardy garbage pick-ups.

Trackside residents nurse a deep grudge against the passing trains, blaming them for the numerous accidents that have occurred along the tracks over the years, even though the railroad was there first. The victims are usually drunks or kids who get in the way of a rumbling behemoth that cannot stop on a dime.

Trains and trackside communities are a fatal mix. But it's yet another consequence of the country's land problem. Many migrants and other poor people just have nowhere else to settle but one of the most perilous places to call home.

Here are some amazing photos taken of the train tracks taken by Sidney Snoeck.

Here is the origional page where Howie Severino writes about this train.
posted by R, J, & A @ 5/31/2006 09:15:00 AM   3 comments
May 25, 2006
The greatest thing happened today. I got up, turned on the tv, and found out we have gotten all kinds of stuff "On Demand". I am incredibly excited about this for two reasons. 1 - All this seasons shows have ended and I need something to watch. 2 - We now have "On Demand" channels that we don't even have regularly. We have gotten all the movie channels, all popular cable channels popular tv shows, fitness, etc all for free! There is also the pay-per-view movie type stuff "On Demand" also for a fee (but only $4 so it's really like renting but better since we have a DVR). It's so great.
posted by R, J, & A @ 5/25/2006 10:10:00 PM   0 comments
May 21, 2006
I just received one of the greatest compliments! Josh said the chicken lettuce wraps that I made for dinner were better than P.F. Chang's signature chicken lettuce wraps that we LOVE. He honestly doesn't tell me things like that unless he believes the to be true. If anyone wants my recipe let me know - even if you are just passing by this site - just leave your email and I will share. They were very very good. Note to Jazz - yes I imagine your dad could make better but for my level of Chinese cooking skills they were exquisite.

We haven't been doing a whole lot lately. Our health insurance is all messed up again, which reminds me I have to sign up for new coverage tonight. Next weekend is Luke (Josh's youngest bro)'s highschool graduation. We are going tubing down a river afterward. It will be interesting to see what Ashton thinks of that. He love love loves water, but it is a 1 - 1 1/2 hour ride down, and I cannot remember a time when he sat still that long. He also loves to be in the water, I don't know what he will think of sitting on top of it. Cross your fingers everybody that he doesn't scream the whole way down. That would be bad.

I am so full from dinner I can't even think of typing any longer.
posted by R, J, & A @ 5/21/2006 06:52:00 PM   5 comments
May 16, 2006

yes, yes I know it's been a while. We all suck at posting lately though don't we? I have been meaning to post things for a few days I just never get to it. Here are a few cute pics of Ashton on Mother's Day anyway.
posted by R, J, & A @ 5/16/2006 07:16:00 PM   1 comments
May 08, 2006
So, I have a lot to say I suppose. Lets see if I can remember everything I wanted to write.

Josh is out of town with business for a few days, or more. At the earliest he will be home Thursday I think, If he has to be gone longer than that he will at least fly home for Mothers Day weekend. It's strange having him be so far away but amazingly enough I have already gotten some cleaning done.

During Ashton's morning nap (well "morning nap" really implies that he takes more than one nap but he takes a 2-3 hour nap once a day that happens to be in the morning) I also took a nap. It was about 11:30 when I woke to babbling other baby noises coming from his room. My first thought was "ok, 5 hours until he goes to bed". I know that sounds bad, counting down until my sons bedtime, but I'm sure it was only because of my mental state just after a nap. As soon as I get into his room he is jumping on his bed, laughing, and flailing his body parts everywhere. I swear one minute of a child laughing, so eager to see you, and so in love with you will cure any bad mood.

This brings me to the point of that last little story. Ashton is so wonderful I wanted to share the things he does lately that drive me crazy but are what make me smile when I am having a bad day.

Where should I start? There is the never ending obsession with sticking fingers in my belly button, or the jingle of about 10 strands of Mardi Gras type bead necklaces that he wears quite often, I think I need to address his love of food.

I got extremely lucky with a baby who will eat almost anything I give him. His pediatrician says now is the age when they start to get picky so keep your fingers crossed. Anyway, Ashton is crazy about food. If you snack on something in front of him he practically mobs you to eat whatever it is you have. He loves vegetables, meats, fruits, and everything really. His recent favorite is an orzo pasta I make with zucchini, yellow squash, peas, carrots and a few other things which I will post about another time. Ashton loves food so much that when he feeds himself he goes crazy. This afternoon we were sitting on the couch watching Little Robots (a 10 minute cartoon he loves - I know he's pretty young to let watch tv but 10 minutes a day won't hurt him) and we were eating a slice of cheese. At first when you give him something to hold and eat all by himself he is super neat and cautious with a hand on each side taking small bites from the middle. Somewhere between realizing what he is eating and realizing how much he likes it, his hands start shaking. He loves food so much that he gets so excited his hands shake! By then he has submissed to every urge wanting to devour it immediately. Then it comes. Like with any toddler they have this tunnel vision when they get over stimulated. Weather it is a button on the receiver, or a piece of cheese when that urge gets too strong their inhibitions break lose and they will not stop until they satisfy their emotions. In the receiver case that means every button gets pushed, every knob gets turned, and every setting gets changed. He once actually figured out how to set something I had been trying to figure out for months! With foods this toddler urge makes me laugh every time. So he is sitting there with his cheese in hand and all of a sudden his tiny hands start shaking and so fast (fast enough that you could easily miss it) he forms the rest of the cheese into a ball and shoves it all into his mouth at once. It is so funny. The same occurs with cereal bars, deli meat, crackers, cheerios, all his food really. Sometime I may catch it on video for your enjoyment.
posted by R, J, & A @ 5/08/2006 04:02:00 PM   1 comments
May 02, 2006
Today was Harleys last day. He didn't do well overnight and the vet gave us a few options this morning. He could have lived if we would have opted for surgery that would have removed his manhood (by manhood I do mean penis). We didn't want him to live that way. It just wasn't the right thing for us to do. We miss him so much.

We took this picture a few hours before taking him to the emergency vet Sunday night. You can see the pain in his eyes.

I know this sounds kind of creepy but he is being cremated, and we will get him back in a beautiful copper kitty shaped urn. We just want him here with us. No pet has ever meant more to either of us and this was so unexpected.

You are loved Harley.
posted by R, J, & A @ 5/02/2006 06:25:00 PM   2 comments
May 01, 2006
Things are looking better for Harley. If all goes well tomorrow he can come home in the evening. I am so relieved, although tomorrow will really tell how sick he is.

I found the greatest website of litle games! They are so cute and well made. You will all love them! You must visit orisinal.
posted by R, J, & A @ 5/01/2006 04:28:00 PM   0 comments
Harley (good cat) is sick. Josh spent 3 1/2 hours with him in the animal hospital last night. He has a urinary blockage. It may be kidney stones, if it is he needs surgery. He will probably be at the vets for a few days no matter what. I am so sad. I have never had a pet be sick before. Not fun. He is in so much pain he won't even walk, let alone eat or drink or anything. They helped him enough last night that he could come home and sleep before I had to bring him to the vet this morning. I am waiting to hear what they will need to do. When faced with saving your pet/family members life or put a down payment on a car, the choice is easy, but we still don't enjoy it. Hopefully I will have a good update in a few hours.
posted by R, J, & A @ 5/01/2006 09:14:00 AM   0 comments


Name: R, J, & A
Home: Canton, Georgia, United States
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