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Last time I said I was going to try and start blogging more often. I haven’t. I’ve started to think I spend enough time in front of the computer at work, sitting in front of it after (like I’m doing now) seems a little silly. We’ll see how the blog goes.

I came across this paper via the Freakonomics link. Ya, I’m too lazy too actually put in the link on the hat tip. An economist decided that his contribution to man’s collective knoweldge should be to study Pirate decision making, and how rational it is. Even if that sounds boring, the papers pretty interesting. If you think Pirates are neat-o, and in who doesn’t in this Johny Depp loving world? Other paper’s by the same guy here, haven’t read the rest but some sound interesting. Economic justification for anarchy anyone?

I could explain to you the train of thought that lead up to me thinking of elementary school PE, but you’d probably stop reading (faster). Getting to my point, I was thinking about how as a lad I was pretty good at the long distance running we were forced into, but pretty bad at the sprinting. I guess it was more middle distance. Which brings me to my two points; why should I have known that I could run a faster quarter mile than my classmates, and why was I forced to run a quarter mile at all?

Now that Shaq is fighting childhood obesity, maybe we should pay a little attention to whether or not there PE classes are encouraging them to be active (which leads to being not fat). I’m not sure if that is the goal of phys ed, but it should be. This entire argument is based on my experiences, as I don’t have, or even know, any children.

The PE I remember consisted of a three types of activities. Largely learning team sports and playing the kinds of games only kids play (dodgeball, tetherball, etc). Those two get the Working’s For Suckers Thumbs Up. Then there was the boot camp preparation. Testing the kids to see how fast they can run, how far they can stretch, sit ups, etc. To go along with this, everybody is measured and compared. Every kid knows who’s fast, who’s strong, and who can hang from a metal bar for a long time. Most kids could probably tell you before Mr. Bruener (or whoever their gym teacher is) makes them do it. But he makes them anyway.
I think most adults will agree that this type of shit sucks. It sucks without being shamed at the end, and that sucks more. My recollection from Roosevelt Elementary was that we were measured throughout the year and rewarded for improving. I guess they thought this might motivate us to practice the arm hang at home? I know there wasn’t anywhere near enough incentive for kids to practice and work out. So you give the athletic kids a pat on the back, which is nice, since athletic kids get very little encouragement growing up, but the fatty’s, gimps, dweebs and lazy kids get put through some crap and then told they suck.

In case your wondering, I didn’t suck, I’m not writing this out of bitterness. I’m also not expecting the PE teachers of America to read this and stop making kids run for no reason. But they should, let ’em play dodgeball, hop-scotch, or teach em some yoga.

Like the title says, more pics from the Costa Rica trip.Arenal

This is Arenal volcano, were I didn’t go, taken from Monte Verde were I did go. I walked around the cloud forest there (no clouds), and took a bunch of pictures. They sucked, which I attribute to my lack of skill as a photographer, not to Monte Verde. I left Monte Verde, spent a pictureless night in Jaco then went to stay in Quepos.

Here’s a pic from just outside my hostel, as some English kids I ran into put it, the place was dodgey. But the hostel, the Widemouth Frog, was nice and right buy the bus stop, which would take you to the national park, Manuel Antonio for about 20 cents.Quepos

I got a nice pic of a monkey in the park, which I think I blogged about at the time, and I’m finally posting. Looking at the pics now I didn’t get many that really captured how impressive the place is, post-card beaches and jungles full of sloths, birds, lizards and monkeys. Too bad.

Monkey  Manuel Antonio

So I’ve been told that traveling alone leads to epiphany(s), which makes today very exciting for me. I get on a plane at 8 am tomorrow (5 pm now), and since my trip thus far has ben epiphany-free, one must be coming up pretty soon. I’m not sure exactly what the time frame is, if it can come on the plane ride home, that adds about another half day to when I could be epiphanized. I don´t think the plain ride should count, cause lots of people take plane trips by themselves without getting one.

Even without mind-blowing revelation, it’s been a great six weeks. Costa Rica is a gorgeous country, even if the cities do smell like ass. I can’t say I regret much, except coming back to San Jose for the last two days of my trip. I also wish I’d surfed a bit more and caught a few more monkeys.

At one point in the trip, while I was enjoying myself, I was starting to wonder if traveling the world is really all that great, as far as building character and that kind of shit, or if it was just another way to have a good time. Looking back I think what has been the most rewarding for me has been getting to know people from all over the world and getting a better perspective on how they look at things. So for those of you who don’t have a passport (which according to a drunken Dutchmen, is a huge percentage of us), I’d recommend you pick a chunk of the world, buy a plane ticket to it, and go stay in some hostels. Unless you’re old, you don’t want to be the weird old guy in the hostel. Stay in a hotel if you look like you’re over fourty.

I’ll probably keep posting back home. I’ll put up some pic’s once I sort through them, and write about my less exotic adventures in the States, like trying to find a job. Anyone want to hire me? Maybe my next post should be my resume. I’ll let you all know how my epiphany goes, too.

I wanted to post a picture, but I’ve got to catch a bus.  The picture was of a monkey about three feet away from me.

I’m going to mix up some monkey-roofeys, stick em in some banana’s, and catch me a couple.  Bidding starts at 30,000 colones, postage not included.