Friday, November 16, 2007

Citrix 2k3 Tuning Changes.

After much work, here are some common Citrix 2k3 tuning changes I often make:

  • DWORD MaxUserPort and set to 65534 (new entry)
  • DWORD TcpWindowSize and set to 65535
  • DWORD MaxFreeTcbs and set to 72000 (new entry)
  • DWORD MaxHashTableSize and set to 65536 (new entry)
  • DWORD TcpTimedWaitDelay and set to 60 (new entry)
  • DWORD KeepAliveTime 300000 (new entry)
  • DWORD KeepAliveInterval 1000 (new entry)
  • DWORD TcpMaxDataRetransmissions 10 (new entry)
  • DWORD NumTcbTablePartitions 4 *<numcpu> (new entry)
  • DWORD TcpAckFrequency 13 for gigE 5 for FE (new entry)
  • DWord MaxThreads 255 (new entry)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Current Control Set\Control\File System
  • DWORD SecondLevelDataCache <CPU CACHE SIZE> (new entry)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
  • DWORD DisablePagingExecutive 1
  • DWORD SecondLevelDataCache <CPU CACHE SIZE>
  • DWORD IoPageLockLimit 65536 (new value)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\7.0\FeatureLockdown
  • DWORD BEFIPrintMe 0
  • DWORD bPurchaseAcro 0
  • DWORD bUpdater 0
  • DWORD bRegisterProduct 0
  • DWORD bShowAdsAllow 0
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\7.0\AdobeViewer
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\7.0\Updater
  • DWORD bShowAutoUpdateConfDialog 0
  • DWORD bShowNotifDialog 0
  • DWORD iUpdateFrequency 0
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\7.0\Originals
  • DWORD bDisplaySplash 0
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
  • DWORD Force Offscreen Composition 1
  • DWORD QMEnable 0
  • DWORD IRPStackSize 15 (new value)
  • DWORD SizReqBuf 32768 (new value)
  • DWORD MaxMpxCt 1024 (new value)
  • DWORD MaxWorkItems 4096 (new value)
  • DWORD UtilizeNTCaching 0 (new value)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinSatations\ICA-tcp\UserOveride\Control Panel\Desktop
  • "AutoEndTasks" ="1"
  • "MenuShowDelay"=10"
  • "CursorBlinkRate"="-1"
  • "DragFullWindows"="0"
  • "WaitToKillAppTimeout"="20000"
  • "SmoothScroll" = dword:0
  • "Wallpaper" = "<advaniswall paper>"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinSatations\ICA-tcp\UserOveride\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics
  • "MinAnimate"="0"
(NOTE these could also be RDP-tcp)
  • REG_SZ AlwaysUnloadDLL 1
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop
  • REG_SZ MenuShowDelay 10
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
  • DWORD "Force Offscreen Composition" 1 (new value)
  • REG_SZ DisabledTcpAddress <IPADDR OF INTERFACE TO DISABLE> (new value)

From some of the following:

    Thursday, November 8, 2007

    Useful Postgres Queries

    Getting a list of dbnames
    /usr/local/bin/psql -q -t -A -h -d template1 -c "SELECT datname FROM pg_database WHERE datname not in ('template0','template1')"

    Getting a list of name spaces for a given DB
    /usr/local/bin/psql -q -t -A -h -d < DB > -c " select schemaname from pg_tables where schemaname not in ('pg_catalog','information_schema') group by schemaname"
    Getting a list of tables (including name spaces)
    /usr/local/bin/psql -q -t -A -h -d < DB > --field-separator "." -c "select schemaname,tablename from pg_tables where schemaname not in ('pg_catalog','information_schema')"

    Getting a list of locks on the DB server (from within a psql prompt)
    SELECT procpid, usename ,datname, (now() - query_start) as age, c.relname , l.mode, l.granted FROM pg_stat_activity a LEFT OUTER JOIN pg_locks l ON (a.procpid = LEFT OUTER JOIN pg_class c ON (l.relation = c.oid);

    Looking at what is connected to a given Database name (from within a psql prompt)
    select * from pg_stat_activity where datname='< DB >';

    Friday, September 28, 2007


    After Mr. and Mrs. Fenton retired, Mrs. Fenton insisted her husband accompany her on her trips to Wal-Mart.  Unfortunately, Mr. Fenton was like most men--he found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunately, Mrs. Fenton was like most women--she loved to browse.  One day Mrs. Fenton received the following letter from her local Wal-Mart.
    Dear Mrs. Fenton,
    Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store.   We cannot tolerate this behavior and may be forced to ban both of you from the store.  Our complaints against Mr. Fenton are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.
    June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.
    July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
    July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.
    July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, "Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away.
    August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.
    September 14: Moved a "CAUTION - WET FLOOR" sign to a carpeted area.
    September 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department.
    September 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"
    October 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.
    November 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.
    December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the " Mission Impossible" theme.
    December 6: In the auto department, he practiced his "Madonna look" by using different sizes of funnels.
    December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled "PICK ME! PICK ME!"And last, but not least.
    December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!"

    Sunday, July 8, 2007

    The Nasty Bits:

    Just powered though Anthony Bourdain The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones. It's a colection of odds and sods from his other writings.  If you like Anthony's schtick from his various TV shows, then this might give you a chuckle.

    More Later....

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    Putin Trying For A Big "Land" Grab

    Putin is trying to show some creative interpretation of things and grab a big chunk of the artic for russia.

    An article from the daily mail in the uk goes it to much more detail ... but OMG.

    More Later....

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Digital Fortress

    Well, I powered through Digital Fortress.  It's a Dan Brown book.  Not really comparable to Cryptonomicon.  It was an interesting book, and I prefer it to the Da Vinci Code.  A couple of the twists were not as predictable as they were in Angels & Demons.  For people that do not like Dan Brown, don't bother with this one, otherwise give it a go. 

    Up next Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle.

    More Later......

    Marriage Humour

    "The Love Dress"

    A woman stopped by unannounced at her son's house. She knocked on the door then immediately walked in. She was shocked to see her daughter-in-law laying on the couch, totally naked. Soft music was playing, and the aroma of perfume filled the room.

    "What are you doing?" she asked.

    "I'm waiting for Mike to come home from work," the daughter-in-law answered.

    "But you're naked!" the mother-in-law exclaimed.

    "This is my love dress," the daughter-in-law explained.

    "Love dress? But you're naked!"

    "Mike loves me to wear this dress," she explained. "It excites him to no end. Everytime he sees me in this dress, he instantly becomes romantic and ravages me for hours on end. He can't get enough of me."

    The mother-in-law left.

    When she got home, she undressed, showered, put on her best perfume, dimmed the lights, put on a romantic CD, laid on the couch waiting for her husband to arrive.

    Finally, her husband came home. He walked in and saw her laying there so provocatively.

    "What are you doing?" he asked.

    "This is my love dress," she whispered, sensually.

    "Needs ironing," he said. "What's for dinner?


    The lawnmower

    When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed. But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first, the truck, the car, playing golf - always something more important to me.

    Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point. When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a minute, and when I came out again I handed her a toothbrush. I said, "When you finish cutting the grass, you might as well sweep the driveway."

    The doctors say I will walk again, but I will always have a limp.

    Moral to this story: Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is the husband.

    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Johnny Hart Passed Away

    The creator of the B.C. comic strip Johnny Hart passed away a couple weeks back.  I have my catchup on comics days where I'll read a mitt full of Dilbert, BC, Userfriendly etc.  Today I was catching up on my B.C.  on, and I noticed the notes from the editors.  No more Peanuts, no more B.C., at least I still have Dilbert and userfriendly. 

    More Later....

    Angels & Demons

    If you like Dan Brown (Author of the Da Vinci Code) you will probably like Angels & Demons. Had a couple of twists that made it interesting and a pretty fast read.  I'm gonna read his Digital Fortress, and see how that compares to the Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson.

    More Later....

    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    Road to Mars

    Even though I bought in for my trip to ecuador, I finally sat down and read Eric Idle's Road to Mars I quiet enjoyed it and it wasn't at all what I was expecting. I orginally heard excerpts from the book on CBC Radio Between the Covers. I bought it, thought I might have read it durring my various airport stops, and flights, but nope. So, after sitting on my to read pile for too long I finally did. I do recomend it, but you'll probably have to get it off your favorite online book seller.

    More Later.....

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    RED MARBLES -- Inspirational Story

    I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

    I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

    "Hello Barry, how are you today?"

    "H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Just admirin' them peas. They sure look good."

    "They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"

    "Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."

    "Good. Anything I can help you with?"

    "No, Sir. Just admirin' them peas."

    "Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr. Miller.

    "No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."

    "Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

    "All I got's my prize marble here."

    "Is that right? Let me see it" said Miller.

    "Here 'tis. She's a dandy."

    "I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?" the store owner asked.

    "Not zackley but almost."

    "Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble", Mr. Miller told the boy.

    "Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."

    Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store."

    I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

    Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

    Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts ...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

    Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes. Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

    "Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size .. they came to pay their debt."

    "We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho "

    With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

    The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

    Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles

    • A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself.
    • An unexpected phone call from an old friend.
    • Green lights on your way to work.
    • The fastest line at the grocery store.
    • A good sing-along song on the radio.
    • Your keys found right where you left them.

    Tuesday, June 5, 2007

    An Interesting Series Of Novels

    I've been reading books by Jane Linkdskold, well "The Firekeeper Sagas" anyway. I've got a couple others but haven't read those yet. If I see a picture of a wolf or wolf in the title, it's gonna grab my interest. I have read 5 of the 6 had been pretty happy with her writing. The sixth should be out in hardcover but I'll wait for the paperback.

    I also have "Buried Pyramid", but haven't read that yet, and looking to pick up "Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls". This should help me decide am I biased because there are wolves, or is it really her writting.

    More Later....

    Saturday, June 2, 2007

    2007 May Long weekend

    The May Longweekend turned into a study of beavers. I did my usual rounds and then to Elk Island. My timing was perfect I caught the beavers that live at Blue Heron Corner out and about.

    There is a family of 4 mom, pop, and 2 yearlings and they were hard at work. A muskrat came shooting through the culvert and freaked one of the yearlings out but after more patience and dilligence, the scence progressed.

    The parents were very calm and non-chalant about my presence, as long as I was still they were happy to do their thing. The yearlings were a lot more skidish.

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    Place's I Wanna Visit

    Mostly they are world heritage sites, but I'd like to over my life time possibly make my to to some mixture of the following
    • Angkor Wat - Cambodia
    • Greece -- Any Ruins
    • Italy - Where do you really start
    • Any Aztec Ruins - Mexico
    • Tikal - Guatemala
    • Copan - Honduras
    • Machu Picchu - Peru
    • Egypt - Any Ruins
    • India
    • China
    • Þingvellir - Iceland
    • Masada -Israel
    • Iraq - Any Ruins
    A lot of it is of course archeological ruins, but hey I sort of liked all the older stuff. There are of course some general travel things as well
    • Great Rift Valley- Africa
    • Madagascar
    • Death Valley - California
    • Painted Desert - Arizona
    • Nepal
    • Barranca de Cobre - Mexico
    • Uluru (Ayres Rock) - Australia
    • Ellesmere Island - Canada
    • Mt Kilimanjaro - Tanzania
    • Altiplano - Peru
    Many are stark yet picturesque landscapes. Or I can just complete my previous list of travel/photography sites. Maybe I should just say I want to visit every national park in every country of the world. Additionally every Historic, and Heritage site.  Then I can close this topic off. 

    Favorite M$ Quotes

    From an Network World Article that I recieved a couple days back some of my favorite quotes from M$ executives
    • In A February interview, Gates says about his customers "Let's face it the average computer user has the brain of a spider monkey"
    • Ballmer on Microsoft's standing in the marketplace: " We don't have a monopoly. We have market share. There's a difference"
    There are 15 of them in the original but these two realy speak to me.  Kudos to the Network World d00ds.

    Fun With date(1) Command

    -j flag is very very useful with the date(1)  command. it lets you do date math without messing with the system clock.

    now=`date -j +%Y%m%d%H%M`
    newdate=` date -j -v+1D -v-2H ${now} +%Y%m%d%H%M`
    echo ${now}
    echo ${newdate}
    This adds 1 day to the current date/time and subtracts 2 hours (yes I could have just done +22H instead) but this is for illustrative purposes. So now you can do date math without awk, perl, python etc. 

    Useful format flags (man strftime(3) for full details)
    • %a - abbreviated weekday name
    • %b - abbreviated month name
    • %Y - yyyy
    • %H - hh in 0 padded 24 hour format
    • %j - day of the year
    • %M - MM 0 padded minute (00-59)
    • %m - mm 0 padded numeric month (01-12)
    • %S - SS 0 padded seconds (00-60)
    • %s - seconds since epoch
    • %u - numeric day of the week starting on Monday (1-7)
    • %Z - Time Zone Name
    • %z - time zone offset

    DSLR Sensor Cleaning

    I picked up an Arctic Butterfly from Visible Dust. Works like a charm and is kind of fun to use. A friend of my also sent me this link on cleaning a dslr Cleaning Digital Cameras

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    Places I wanna go snap pix

    My list of let me go until I'm done places for doing pix
    • Galapagos Islands - Ecuador
    • Serengeti National - Tanzania 
    • Masai Mara - Kenya
    • Bharatupur Bird Sanctuary - India
    • Bandhavgarh National Park - India
    • Kanha National Park - India
    • Royal Chitwan National Park - Nepal
    • Kinbalu National Park - Borneo
    • Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary - Borneo
    • Sichuan - China
    • Antarctica
    Granted I wouldn't mind getting lost in any of the Canadian Top 10.  Heck send me to the US,Yellowstone, Glacier, Smokey Mountains.

    Cananda's Top 10 Wildlife Destinations

    I was watching a travel program sometime back, and found my notes on Canada's top 10 wildlife locations. So in no particular order

    The program was done by Goodearth Productions. They also did
    And some other stuff, you can go to the site if you care.

    I regularily spend time at Elk Island. I was treed by a moose at Cypress Hills, and I've driven beside Wood Buffalo. I was surprised that they didn't include any of the Alberta mountain parks (Banff, Jasper, Waterton Lakes).

    Saturday, May 26, 2007

    Drug Problem

    Here is an Andy Rooney style rant:
    The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, 'Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?'

    I replied that I had a drug problem when I was young!

    I was drug to church on Sunday morning.

    I was drug to church for weddings and funerals.

    I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

    I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults.

    I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

    I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word.

    I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flower beds and flower beds and cockleburs out of dad's fields.

    I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

    Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than meth, weed, cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

    I'ld like to find the original source of this so it can be properly attributed.

    Posters Galore

    A friend bounced me a link the other day they have some interesting mexican art. Some of my favorite on-site searches
    • Mango Man
    • Amor a Todas Horas
    • Dos Mujeres
    Something to take a look at if you are looking for prints for your flat.

    An Interesting Command Line

    I came across this command line the other day

    pkg_info | sort | sed -e 's/-[0-9].*$//' | uniq -c | grep -v '^[[:space:]]*1'

    Shows the number of versions of a package that is installed on a FreeBSD machine.

    Low Cost Image Processing Software

    While I don't see the fuss about noise reduction in images. (Come on people did you ever use high ISO film... I have shot a couple rolls of 1200 iso and it looks like the image was on a stucco wall). There are a couple of interesting, low cost, high performance pieces of software.
    GREYCStoration I've been playing with in gimp and does a pretty decent of many things. One large images it takes quite a while to process though. Yes I need faster machines at home my lil' ol' pIII isn't cutting the mustard any more.

    Haven't played with Picture Cooler yet, (it's windows and I normally don't have a box running any M$ OS). I will soon though and will see what it's all about.

    Monday, February 26, 2007

    Home at Last

    Get up, get checked out, kewl, the discounted rate was applied to both nights... and called the cab. Get to the airport and it's dead. It's 03h15 and I'm expecting it to be a zoo. There are a few people still on cots around the airport, but I found out nothing officially opens until 04h00. DAMN... I could have grabbed 30 more zzzz's, it's ok I was at the head of the line to confirm and get my boarding passes.

    Sunday, February 25, 2007

    Stranded in Hog Town

    Tummy wasn't quite so happy today, my ciprofoxin, is in my checked lugage somewhere in O'Hare, and I'm done my treatment with the meds from ecuador. I'll suck it up, I have immodium, again, not really what I should take, but is better then nothing. OOOooooo Giordanos pizza, yup ... yummmy, I can see the hype..... I ran down stairs and bought myself a clean pair of socks, underwear and a tooth brush, ahhhhh I almost feel human again....

    Called everyone to let them know I wasn't home yet, and won't be home until monday.

    Today is a lazy day, pizza and a Law and Order SVU Marathon on WB or whichever channel it was on. Need to rest, I have a 03h00 wake up call to head home.

    Ordered a nice monte cristo sandwich with pickle, fries and a bowl of french onion soup for supper, and lots and lots of water. Still fairly dehydrated....

    Saturday, February 24, 2007

    Homeward Bound - NOT!

    Got to the airport 2 hours before my flight and there is a pretty long line up. I say my farewells to Maria Cecilia and get into the queue. Started chatting with a couple yanks, one an older lady in her mid-fifties, the other a tween that just finished his student exchange program. 9/11 and iraq are still topics of discusion. Get to the counter, check my bags and have to make my to emmagration. First I have to pass through and pay an airport tax, which added an extra 15 minute delay before getting into the emmagration queue.

    Friday, February 23, 2007

    Last Day

    Today is my last day in Ecuador, and wouldn't you know the weather finally is decent (at least for my time in quito... weather was great in baños). The day that I'm least going to be able to enjoy it.... so many things to do, still so many things to see. I didn't get to go to the bull ring, or their olympic stadium, I still hadn't made my way through all the museums yet. Ohhh well.

    Thursday, February 22, 2007

    Please Kill Me

    Me and my big yap. In the middle of the night, I had a second fever, and the cup of coffee, the soup, and most of the fluids I had consumed, flushed down the toilet. I spent the whole night purging... sigh ... By the Cap Health nurses' description I'm not to what I would think of as sever diarrhea, so try and grit it out a little. Hopefully I can fight this off and build some immunity to what ever little bug is tickling my tummy. Maria Cecilia had a little gurlling the previous night but she wasn't sick... so damn it why can't I build up a tolerance to this little bug.

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    UH OH!

    Public transit in Ecuador is nothing like back home. On each bus there is a conductor, the guy sticks is head out the door and shouts the various stops of that particular bus. Next just like on the bus to and from Baños, peddlers hop on an off pushing their wares. You have the music pumpin', and most importantly you pay when you get off the bus.

    Well I made it back to old Quito on the bus.... YEAH!!! I walked down Calle de las Siete Cruces (Street of the seven crosses.) Starting at the basilica (oops, I forgot today is Ash Wednesday) I strolled my merry way along.

    Tuesday, February 20, 2007

    Back to Quito

    Got up and had some fruit for desayuno, then chatted with the hotel owner. Puyo is a no go the town will be a bigger zoo then Baños. Now that the chaos of carnival is reduced, we go see the inside of the church.... It's quite amazing some very nice older portraits and icons. Then we notice a bunch of people running .... Wax fire, Wax fire (shades of alf shouting grease fire come to mind ;)) With all the candles they had been burning over the last few days some surplus wax caught fire and was causing a commotion. Still a handful of kids spraying that bloody foam, but they are doing from the safety of moving vehicles, and the victims are not nearly as jovial about getting it.

    Monday, February 19, 2007

    Next Stop Puyo - Maybe Not!?

    Puyo was a bust!!! Maria Cecilia and I got up had some eats, and tried to catch a bus, the adventure begins. After Realizing we would have to wait a couple hours for the bus, we decided not to go, may be tomorrow (play the theme from the littest hobo.....) We tried to find our ticket agent, she had abandoned her counter, and was coming and going pretty much on a whim. We pin her down and we return our tickets. Instead of just giving us $4 back, nope, she wanted her $6 and the ticket (a $5 and $1) and gave us back our original $10 ( a single ten dollar bill). I would have been fine with getting back 4 singles, but man this country and change.

    Sunday, February 18, 2007

    Chiva Ho

    Got up and had desayuno (huevos, jamon, cafe negro, y jugo de mora con leche)... Jugo con leche (juice with milk) became a breakfast staple.... in effect what an Orange Julius aspires to be. We decided to take another tour with the guides from Adventure Equatorland.

    The chiva was a lot fuller than for the volcano run, and I quickly realized most things here are built for midgets. I don't mean little people, born with genetic disorders, I mean people smaller that me. I'm no giant, but man.... when people were my height the were of much slighter frame. If they had any meat, they were much shorter.... and unlike for the volcano run sitting on the roof rack really wasn't an option. I was able to sit on the outside of the bench so I could at least lean out a tad. But my knees were around my ears. Fitting the camera gear was a touch of an adventure as well.... but I managed.

    Saturday, February 17, 2007

    Off to Baños

    Maria Cecilia got off work early, so we are going to take advantage of the 4 day weekend. Since she did not have her car yet we thought we might rent one....HAHAHAHAHAHA..... 2K USD deposit on a rental, and for a sub-compact ~140 per day.... called a few more places, nothing under a $1,500 USD deposit. Plan B, lets take the bus. In for a penny, in for a pound. We cab it to a smaller bus station, and look at the schedule, nothing grabs our fancy. The ticket agent recommends we go to the main bus terminal. We cabbed it back to her flat, packed for the weekend (the driver was awesome he waited for us to pack) and headed to the main bus terminal.

    Friday, February 16, 2007

    Rain Rain Rain

    Welcome to the tropics. Frequent rain showers seem to be the norm, even at altitude. Was another day of walking around old Quito. There is something like 15 or 20 museums covering different aspects and periods of Ecuadoran history. I'm still strolling only with my point-n-shoot, instead of the DSLR. There is an amazing old cathedral, for a couple bucks you can go up into the clock towers, you can also walk around the sanctuary.

    The smell of the food was finally too big a temptation. Just off the square the was a little shop that sold papas fritas (french fries). So for a buck I got myself an order with all the local fixins. Made my way back to the montaña, so far so good food is agreeing with me. Siesta and a couple more bottles of water and life is good.

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Hoofin' in a Foreign Land

    Had a restless night, damn, forgot new bed, no sleep, but otherwise ok. I'm still on mountain time so I missed desayunos, who the hell am I trying to kid, it's the before noon, mountain time my ass.

    I walked from montaña to the Ecuador National Museum of the Central Bank of Ecuador... google it if you're interested. All I can say is WOW.... oooh and by-the-way did I mention wow. The archeology floor was amazing. I've seen photos of some of the pieces in books on the Inca, but to see the pieces even if it is through a couple inches of lexan.... wow. The floor with all the Catholic iconographic art was interesting. There was also a section of modern and contempory art, I can see they have talented artists, but the archeology floor ... wow... I was in awe.

    Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    So it begins

    Kewl, I slept on my first night in a new bed. I guess being awake for 30 hours in a possible cure for my road trip insomnia.

    Maria Cecilia was at work and called me a ~09h00 in the before noon.... yes in there is a second 9 o'clock and I'm a little mortified. Dragged myself into the resturaunt for desayuno (breakfast). Had a nice huevos con tocino (eggs with bacon), tostada (toast), jugo de papaya (papaya juice) and several cups of a good strong cafe negro (black coffee) ooooh yeah and a plate of fresh cantelope... Scribbled my notes from the previous 48 hours and made my way to the computer that had internet access.

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Airplanes From Hell

    Monday, ready or not, today is the day. I'm going to start my biggest adventure in many many years. Some might argue since at least high school but I'm not gonna think about it. 10 days in Ecuador, no work, no hockey just an adventure ahead. Lugage is packed, it took several tries to get it right, I even had to send Maria Cecilia's gift via DHL since my lugage was full... turns out, it was also over weight but not too bad. Kjell is a the kennel (really don't like abandonin g him but ....) Got's my reading material Eric Idle's The Road To Mars. 

    Inspite of the web stuff I've read I'm taking a large complement of my photo gear, and I got myself a decent point and shoot for walking around. One full suitecase, one carry on of camera gear, and a backpack with an integrated waterbag and waterproof camera compartment. I'm set. Also have my usual fanny pack with a cd player and a couple of disks and all the stuff that makes metal detectors go beep in it.

    Got a lift to the airport from my mate Andreas. The weather was foggy since ice crystals were floating in the air, Andreas wanted to play with his Tom Tom navigation system, so we had it show us the fastest route from my flat to the airport. Turns out that going through the back route (through Devon is fastest.)

    It's about 22h30, I've got my boarding passes, am about to clear security and ZOT Random security check. Guess the guy was bored. It wasn't a strip search, but was an aggravation since I had several hidden belts on. When I looked like a crazed biker, not a big deal, but geeze mang, I almost look respectable now (DAMN, I still can't say that with a straight face). I finally got through security, now it's waiting for my 00h30 boarding call.

    Edmonton Intl Airport

    We board the plane on time, was a full red eye to TO, hmmm remind myself need business class if I'm on these cattle cars. The pilot queues us up for a good de-icing, starts powerin' everything up and then stops. Pilot tries again, and it sounds like someone winching the luggage compartments closed. Nope. Third times the charm...... HAHAHAHAHA.... plane has lost hydraulic pressure (should be 3000 psi, only have 700 according to the captain). We sit on the runway waiting for a maintanace crew.... tick tock, tick tock (you can play the final jeopardy theme here). No can do, the repair crew needs parts. We get to deplane. Time is ticking and my connection to Miami is looking in jeopardy (there's a song by Greg Kihn or Weird Al who's music could be played for this one.)

    Yeah! New plane, and it's a larger capacity so the cattle car factor isn't as bad. It's ~ 02h30 and we are finally on our way, luggage was successfully transfered. People were bagged, guy next to me was sawin' logs somethin' fierce. Our inflight flick was Flushed Away.

    TO - Pearson Intl Airport

    I've lucked out. I'm gonna make my connection because they changed my plane from a 767 to an A321-200. This also means they've changed my gate and delayed the flights departure 3/4 of an hour, Whew. A little tired but nothin' that I haven't dealt with before, just grab some Timmies' and I'm golden.

    Off to Miami

    Got on the plane a little cramped but aisle seats are my friend (I can spill over into the aisle and no one complains :D). I was sitting by this nice old couple, they've been married 67 years.... WOW 67 years.... They were heading to Miami for a cruise. She was 87, he was older, I didn't catch his age. Spent time chatting with her about baking pies, how to make something less sweet and vegan friendly. She'd be talking about stuff, then suddenly, she'd doze off for a couple minutes, wake up and keep on going. The movie was Flicka, so I tried catching a couple zzzs but not many.

    Arrived at Miami, need to get from Section F to Section D (American Airlines International Flights). Miami Internation is a dungeon, and I thought Pearson Terminal 1 was old and ugly.... bzzzt for me I have a new winner ... Miami.

    Found customs, transfered my checked lugage, clear customs and security screening. What a pain us airports have become. Grabbed myself some sugar and a bevy then made my way to my departure gate.

    For the first time in a long time I was a minority in looks and language. Was an interesting sensation.... Shades of "One of these things in not like the other" started playing through my mind. Most of the people at the gate area of course were latin american, and speaking spanish. If you have noticed, even after tanning the only dark thing about me is my soul..... even height, while I'm average height in my world, there I was like a freakin' giant. Was interesting.

    Off to Quito

    The plane was a 757 and was in super-cattle-car mode, and the plane was packed... hey it's Carnival in Ecuador and people are heading home. There was the odd seat but nothing worth trying to move to, mostly the odd centre seat. The flight was very different from the from what I'm accustomed to. People were yacking up a storm, lots more jawin' and socializin' than on a canuck or yank flight. I reminded me of the plane trips with the jazz choir back in high school... ( oooh thoose poor stews.... what a blast those trips were.) Food was great, a nice braised beef with mashed potatoes and a corn relish, damn wish I could have seconds.

    Didn't recognize the movie, it was in español (go figure....) There were a handful of gringos on the plane, mostly clients of Eco Adventure. I was sitting by a tween who was going to school in the US and heading home to visit. The other guy, a yank from South Carolina, was heading to Ecuador to visit is daughter. Didn't catch the yanks occupation, but he has lived all over the world doing whatever it was he did.

    Arrived in Quito. Lots of turbulence on the flight but nothing too scary. Cleared Ecuadoran Customs, met Maria Cecilia for the first time in person... We've chatted via IM and the phone but now we meet.... She brought a nice bouquet of flowers TKX. Caught a cab, and checked into the hotel. The Eugenia Hotel in quito is quite nice. I'm bagged I've been up since 10:00 Monday.

    Had a quick shower and found a nice little taquería. Had a margarita, a michelada (beer,an ecuadorian pilsner, with aji salsa...)and a couple of crisp corn tacos, bif y pollo. The pollo was great, lotsa flavour the bif not so much. Need to watch my fluids at altitude, dehydration could be a problem. so far so good no need for the altitude meds.

    I'm ready to crash...