Monthly Archives: March 2011

Read An Ebook Week

I got in on this a little late, but better late than never, I guess.

Smashwords is having what they call Read an Ebook week. Many authors, myself included have made their works available either for free or at discounted prices.

I’m giving away my Sailing Alone To Isla short story for free and you can get my books Despair at half off (for the next four days it’s only $1.50 – a bargain at twice the price). Click on the link to take you to the page for that book or story. There will be a coupon number. Add the book to your cart and when you check out add the coupon and get the discount.

But you have to hurry to get this or thousands of other books available on Smashwords. Sign up for a FREE account and cash in.

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Filed under digital books, digital publishing, ebook


Yes, they celebrate Carnival here in Panama but it’s not the same as when I was living four blocks off of St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. After weeks of parades on the weekend the big day finally rolled around. People “masked” and turned out. In the 10 years I lived there I only went down to the French Quarter and Bourbon Street twice. Much too crazy. Up by my house it was primarily families. DRUNK families, but families none the less. The first parade, REX with the King and Queen of Mardi Gras would pass by my house about 10 in the morning and it DIDN’T STOP until about 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Then there was a break for about three hours and the final parade of the year would come by about 8:30 and then it would be over.

Of course, New Orleans is all about music and Mardi Gras is a part of life there so naturally it’s enshrined in song.

Here’s Al “Carnival Time” Johnson.

The one and only Henry Rowland Bird — Professor Longhair

Dr. John

You went looking for the Mardi Gras Indians sometime during the day and hope you’d find a Big Chief.

And on that note I’ll end this with some musical greats: Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Earl King and the Meters (Art and Cyril Neville, George Porter, Leo Nocentelli, and Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste

NOTE: In the song “Carnival Time” there’s a phrase that, unless you’re from the New Orleans area would make no sense to you. It’s “Throw the baby out the window.” Now, if you have no frame of reference you might think that it’s about child abuse, but it’s not.

One of the traditions of Mardi Gras is the King Cake. New Orleans isn’t the only place that has the King Cake. Here’s the history of the thing:

Tucked somewhere inside the cake (AFTER it’s been baked) is a small, plastic “baby.”

The tradition is that if you have the baby in your piece you are supposed to throw the next party. People have been known to swallow the baby or to palm it and throw it out a window to avoid having to host a party, thus the phrase.

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Filed under New Orleans

The Difference Half A Century Makes

I LOVE the dawn. Seeing the world wake up. Listening to the roosters calling up here on the side of the mountain in Panama.

When I was 18 I used to stay up all night so I could see the dawn. At 68 I turn in early so I can wake up and see it.

I KNOW I posted this video before but I like it.

The dawn is such a precious thing there are several words in the Spanish language for it: La Alba, La Madrugada describe the time and amanecer describes the process of the dawn.

Of the two words, La Alba is used most often in poetry.

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Filed under Living Abroad, panama, Retirement, Retirement Abroad