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We had another training session last night at the Belize Jungle Dome. We are getting the begginings of a team together now. Last night we had 21 players ranging in age from 7 - 50 years. I have now bought 5 footballs, 5-a-side goals, 2 Floodlights and a large Orange drinks cooler.

Putting the Floodlights up was a challenge. We purchased 2 40' poles which were hoisted up by Tractor and a pully system. Then we had to send one of the guys up the poles to fit the 1600 Watt Halogen lamps. But it has worked and although it could be better (more lights are needed) it's a promising start.

We have had 2 sessions now. Although I have no soccer coaching qualifications it is easy for me to recall the training drills we used to do with Newcastle, West Brom and Charlton. I think it's important to get the players passing and also work on their touch. So most of the exercises are based around this. Then of course we have a game and a small keep the ball exercise to finish, with the losing pair doing 30 press-ups. It's amazing to see how fast players improve when you give them proper training programs. Already they were faster, sharper and more comfortable with the ball.

Scuba Diving in Belize

Belize is not a bad place to go Scuba Diving and Snorkeling!!

Me and Simone at Actun Tunichil Muknal, a fantastic day trip, not for the faint hearted.

Getting Ready for the Black Hole Drop. A 300ft rappelling adventure through the Jungle Canopy.

My dear old mum standing proudly at the top of temple IV at Tikal in Guatemala.

Kayaking on the Mopan River near the Belize/Guatemalan border

Me doing what i do in the Jungle. Catching a Vine Snake from the thatched roof

The first football international. Scotland vs England

More from the "Soccer vs Football" conundrum

Ok, the latest news on the real name for Football or Soccer.

This was sent by anonymous and is quoted from Wikipedia, the online enyclopedia.

Quote :

"....The rules of football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863, and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time, specifically rugby football. The term soccer first appeared in the 1880s as a derivation of the abbreviation of association to assoc.Today the sport is known by a number of names throughout the English-speaking world, the most common being football and soccer; this has generated debate regarding the "correct" name for the sport. The term used depends largely on the need to differentiate the sport from other codes of football followed in a community. Football is the term used by FIFA, the sport's world governing body, and the International Olympic Committee. For more details of naming throughout the world, please refer to the main articles above....."

More information on the history of the much loved British game is available by clicking on this Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia link. I am going to call it British game so as not to offend anyone from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland. If there are any fans of the "much loved British game" reading this from other countries then this is going to get very complicated.

Bush Joke :

"President Bush said when he goes to Europe, he's looking forward to talking about how we can extend peace even further around the world. Then the Pentagon told him, 'You know, Mr. President, we really don't have enough ammunition left to do that."

Postcards from Belize

CheChem Ha Caves

Cave Tubing in Belize

I missed the Liverpool v Chelsea game again today. For a quiet time of the year i still cannot manage to sit down and see some good football. I had a visitor come to the Belize Jungle Dome and so i sat on the back deck for a few hours chatting, which interrupted my planned afternoon entertainment on ESPN.


Here is an answer from Bob Miller who lives in Ontario, Canada to the football vs soccer question ::


"......Perhaps UK folks would not be quite so intolerant of many in the world referring to the game as "soccer" if they harkened back to the origination. In the latter part of the 1800s, students at Oxford started referring to Rugby as "Rugger" and Association Football as "Soccer," with the "soc" being extracted from "association." The vast hordes that emigrated to seek a better life, took the game(s)with them to Canada, Australia, The USA and elsewhere, where "soccer" became the accepted appelation. And back in the UK, many referred to football as "soccer."

Numerous senior aged ex-pats I know from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland said they grew up calling the game soccer. If you reference David Ramzan's pictorial on Charlton (Images of Sport, The Archives Photographs series), pages 61 and 67 show newspaper clippings using the word "soccer" in their headlines, one being "10 Men Make Soccer History," referencing the famous 1957 cup tie when Charlton came back from 1-5 to win 7-6 over Huddersfield, with Summers scoring 5! So, it isn't an American affectation or anything like that, although it does serve nicely to differentiate the game from American, Canadian and Australian Rules Football. The game has been referred to as soccer since it was first introduced by the British and that's what they called it! So, Andy, feel perfectly free to call it whatever you want! To call it "soccer" is very English, although pretty well out of favour these days....."

Who am i to argue with this expanation. I am guessing Bob really knows his stuff and thanks for going into it in so much detail.
Ok, here is a list of all the kind writers out there who have mentioned this blog in no particular order ::

I'm sure more will appear so let me know if you have added a link and i will add it to this list.

The power of Blogging

What an unbelievable day for my blog. As I write this nearly 600 people have had a sneak at my ramblings. I've had emails from West Bromwich Albion Fans asking if I have any comments for Bob Taylor at tonights fans meeting, requests to join Charlton Fans Forums, and of course the other usual nonsense.

To reply to "anonymous" about the reason why i refer to Football as "soccer", the answer is that i have become half americanised since living in Belize. We travel alot through the USA and also the majority of our guests are from America. Americans as you know consider football to be American Football. And when they ask me what i used to do for a living i often have to use the term soccer. So i have sort of been crossing my words a bit. And i also know that it is infuriating for British people to read but i have "kinda gotten" used to it. (more amercian slang). I'm sure you all know what i mean anyway.

And if you read further down this blog you will see that i have more in common with the USA than England at the moment, especially as we have US Satellite TV at the Jungle Dome. Which is why i comment more on the American way of life, the war in Iraq and my favourite subject George Bush, the global US redneck leader!!!

Tonight sees a great game in the Champions League, with Liverpool having the unenviable task of defeating Chelsea. Mourinho has been lamenting on the use of chip technology in the ball to settle goal line disputes. Its always a battle between the old timer traditionalists in football whose romantic memories of bygone eras sometimes need to be shaken up a bit to allow soccer, sorry football, to evolve and change. I agree with Mourinho, and lets face it, in a multi-million pound industry refereeing decisions should be correct. I for one am definitely for the use of modern technology to improve the accuracy of football decision making, as long as it is doesn't deter from the cut and thrust of the excitement of the free-flowing game that football is.

Today was Lucas first day of school. It was brilliant to see him starting class and he had such a great time. And as any parents reading this will testify, a welcome rest for me and simone.

Tomorrow we have a couple coming to stay for a few nights. They are on a honeymoon and are doing one of the best trips we offer.

They will head off into the Jungle for a 2 hour hike to a sink hole, where they will rappell through the jungle canopy. They will stay in the cave overnight before returning to base camp in the morning. It is a really great trip and if you have a fast internet connection you can view the Black Hole Drop Slideshow by clicking this link.
A big hello to all the Charlton fans who have been checking this site out. It seems that word spreads fast, especially thanks to a link on this Charlton Blog.

I tuned into the Man Utd Champions League game with 15 minutes to go yesterday. I was hoping to watch the whole game but forgot it was on. They really seem to be misfiring a bit this season although you really can't rule them out of the premiership especially with such a star studded squad at their disposal. But with Chelsea fielding almost 2 international quality teams, and fergusons early season admission that they can't afford a slow start to this seasons campaign you have to wonder if they have already fallen too far behind.

It seems to me that Chelsea have done to football what Tiger Woods has done to golf. They have really raised the standard and the other competitors are struggling to keep up. The worrying thing is that there really are only a few teams that can possibly compete with Chelsea due to their overwhelming cash backing. Even Man Utd and Arsenal may find life difficult. They have to justify to there board or investors every purchase. Chelsea on the other hand can just rely on the extreme generosity of their benefactor. And while they continue with success on the field you can't really see Abramovich getting bored just yet. It was only a few years ago that people were worrying about Man Utd and Arsenals dominance to the detriment of the premiership. And now its Chelsea that are causing all the concern.

Well back to the reality of the Jungle. Lucas starts his first day in school. He's not 3 yet but we have signed him up for some kiddies classes. It costs us $50 USD a month to send him every morning and the facilities are really great. So this morning I am going to take him into Belmopan for his 3 hour stint.

Last night we had our first evening training session outside the Belize Jungle Dome. I can't really play until my toe has healed so I trained the players. It was good fun and I found myself taking a football training session in my best spanish!! Although Belize is an English speaking country alot of the people who live near us speak spanish. So the words, "mira", "ayuda", "listo" and "passe" were constantly on the tip of my tongue.

Simone just got back from the doctor in Belmopan and the latest ultrasound shows she has a little boy kicking inside. Looks like i will be doing alot of sports when i get older. Have to keep myself fit i think.
I made sports illustrated


I guess my legacy will always linger on!!

Bush - The worlds greatest statesman

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing.
He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."
"OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"
His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands.
Finally, the President looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"

courtesy of mobys blog

Back to Belize finally

Lucas Zoning out in front of Dora the Explorer with his new pal, Knock the Jack Russell

We delayed our flights from Rochester until today, due to the hurricane. This meant we had an extra few days for some more r & r so i went out for a game of golf with my hosts Tom and Roy. Plus we managed to get some last minute shopping done, as we have to have enough supplies of t-shirt, shorts, trainers etc to last us until next April. We won't be leaving Belize again until then as we have the high season looming

We also went to get our wedding rings. Me and Simone are hardly the most conventional couple and have been agonising about how to best do our wedding. But it seems that it is just going to be so difficult getting our families together. My parents live in Ashill, Norfolk (England), Simones mum lives in Aruba, a small island just north of Venezuala, and Simones Dad lives in Hengelo, in the east of Holland. So we have decided to get married and then figure out later some family get togethers.

I bought myself a new pair of football boots in the USA, getting ready for the world famous Cauwich cup in Belmopan, Belize. My last pair of boots split on my final game before departing for the USA. It left me playing the last 30 minutes barefoot!! I missed yesterdays game yesterday against Roaring Creek, who apparently kicked our team from pillar to post. Glad i missed that one,
but Banana Bank triumphed 5-0 without my skills. I have aged gracefully and accepted that i can't run around like i used to. So i sit in the center of midfield and pull the strings. Not a position i could have ever played as a professional but no problem in a local village league. I had my ingrowing toe-nail removed 2 weeks ago and i think it still needs another week or so to heal so i should be ready for next weeks game. I will get some pictures of the matches and upload them. Its not exactly the Valley or the Hawthorns but still worth a look. Here is a picture of me with the local latinos/creoles. Can you spot me?

I have alot of work to do over the next few weeks, getting our new kitchen delivered to the Belize Jungle Dome. Our Adventure Travel Website gets over 800 hits a day and we are readying ourselves for a very busy high season. Our business is really blooming in Belize and we are one of the leading providers of Adventure Travel in Belize. I have spent the last year studying SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to enable our websites to be seen at the front of the Search Engine listings, enabling us to pick up alot more business than we could ever have hoped for. So if you search for "Belize Vacations" you will see our site www.greendragonbelize.com at the front of Yahoo, MSN or Google. We also have some very impressive listings on Yahoo and MSN for Adventure Vacations popping up at number 2 in a very competitive market. It has proved to be a very worthwhile study for me and being a bit of a computer nerd has allowed me to learn the intricacies of the internet along the way. A search for "All Inclusive Adventure Vacations" on google also reveals a great front page listing for us.

Our Lodge is set in stunning Jungle surroundings, a great place to relax before heading off on a days exploring doing trips such as ::

Jungle Horseback Riding
Visiting Mayan Temples
Zip Lines
Rappelling through the Jungle Canopy
Cave Tubing
Scuba Diving
Swimming with Sharks
Manatee Watching and much more

Another reason for us to go to Rochester was to talk to Tom and Marge Gallagher the couple we spent several weeks with. They are considering making the move to Belize and buy into our business down here. We have almost completed the negotiations for the Jungle Dome and are vere excited about them coming here. Once they arrive we will have a great team of people and will be able to look at growing the Belize Jungle Dome.

We made some good friends with an organisation called Intervol which i have mentioned in my previous posts. I set up a blog for them at the following address http://intervolorg.blogspot.com, suggesting they use it as a great tool for letting there members know about the work they are doing. They have already got the hang of blogging and have started another one for their other project Friends Across Borders. Intervol will be visiting us in November to help with the local people who need surgery and medical assistance.

I missed the weekends Premier league football due to being stuck in Rochester, New York. Although i have no allegiance to West Brom or Charlton, i have to say it was no surprise to see Charlton pick up the 3 points.

Charlton really have hit the ground running this year and seem to be a force to be reckoned with this year. I'm sure they will have a good chance of making Europe and even having a decent cup run. As far as West Brom it looks like it will be a tough season but i wish them all the best and hope they can start to pick up some points soon. Anyway now i am back in Belize I can start to plan some football viewing and look forward to tomorrow and maybe some Champions League Soccer.

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Just to allay the worries of our families, we will not be flying home to Belize, through Houston unless this hurricane disperses. It may start to break up or suddenly lose its power but until that happens we are planning on staying put in Rochester where the weather is beautiful at the moment. The hurricane is moving so slowly that it may delay us until next week because houston airport is not running any flights at the moment. and who can blame them!! So off to the golf course again.

Is it global warming causing all these powerful storms or just the earths natural cycles? Who knows but it is definitely cause for concern for those of us living in this part of the world.

West Bromwich Albion and Charlton Athletic go head to head on Saturday

This weekend sees two of my old teams go head to head at the Hawthorns. Charlton visit West Bromwich Albion and i will be hoping that Directv our US Satellite TV provider will broadcast the game live on Saturday morning. We don't have any guests staying with us and will have just returned to Belize. So I am hoping for a lazy saturday watching footy and lounging by the pool.

I played for West Brom for 5 years and never once did we look like reaching the premier league. We changed managers 5 times in 5 seasons and chairmans a few times also. This is very disconcerting for a player as every new manager that comes in brings with him his own ideas and concepts on how to play football. This often includes a different playing system plus a new influx of players. Pre-season often involved meeting a bunch of new players and trying to figure out how the manager wanted you to play.

I left West Brom to join Charlton so I could further my career, as I felt that West Brom were still going to take a long time to ever get their act together. I'm glad to say that over the last few years they have had the fortune of rising into the premier league and seem to have stabilised the club. Although last year was an incredible struggle to stay in the premier league it was good to see them retain their status and i hope they can continue to progress. With the pressures of premiership survival mounting you never know how long a struggling team keeps faith with their squad and manager. Lets hope the WBA fans will have the patience and not put too much pressure on the board/manager/players.

It seems to me that the only real way to create long term success is with a long term manager and a good financial plan. Charlton should be a great example to all the smaller clubs. Alan Curbishley, his coaching staff and the board have been at Charlton for an eternity, and have overseen one of the most accomplished rises into the top flight of any smaller club. And if you look at the two most succesful clubs in recent years Man Utd and Arsenal, they have also found top class managers and stuck with them.

Good luck to the teams tomorrow and if i do get lucky and Directv (Fox Sportsworld) show the game i hope its entertaining and full of goals.

Soldiers report from Iraq

Although i don't support the war in Iraq i think that knowing someone who has a relative in Iraq makes it alot more personal. And hearing his thoughts and experiences from the front line really puts into perspective any of lifes other problems. Here is the latest posting :

"....the first soldier from my state was killed this week. He was shot by a sniper while out on a patrol. The bullet went under his left armpit and went through his heart. There was nothing anyone medical could do. A soldier standing next to him was also shot but the bullet caught the edge of his SAPI plate (Small Arms Protective Inserts-part ofthe body armor, a large ceramic/kevlar plate that goes in the bullet-proof vests. It weighs about 20 lbs and there are 2 of them, 1 front, 1 back) and most of the velocity/inertia was lost. He ended up with only a 2"x 3"x 1"deep chunk of muscle torn from his chest. He will probably be back to full duty by OCT.

Part of the problem here is that there is rarely any real direct conflict. An IED (roadside bombs) explodes on our soldiers, a snipershoots at them, a mortar round drops here in the base area and there isno one to fight back at. We raid a village/house and find weapons and remote phones, garage door openers, things used to detonate IEDs, wear rest the men who have them but there is rarely a fight. It is frustrating to soldiers who go out on patrols every day and get shot at or "blowed up" as we jokingly call it that they have no one to fight. The Army calls it low intensity conflict but the soldiers start to feel like a worm on a hook....."

Still in America

We were supposed to fly out this morning from Rochester to Belize via Houston. But due to the mass evacuation in Houston and Galveston our flights have been cancelled. So instead of getting all upset about the whole thing we decided to hit the lake at honeoye yesterday and enjoy the unseasonally good weather that the north east of USA is enjoying at the moment.

Cindy and Roy have a house on the lake so we all enjoyed a boat ride and then a BBQ. It gave me a chance to put my years of fishing experience to the test and give Lucas his first lesson. We didnt catch anything but we did have a great time.

This morning me and simone are off to look for wedding rings which is a little bit overdue and then this afternoon i am off to play golf. Meantime we will be watching the forecast in Texas and hoping that the hurricane passes without too much damage.

Lucas mowing the lawn

me and lucas getting tangled up.

On lake honeoye

cruising in Rochester

Hurricanes in Central America

Before we moved to Belize I had never even thought of the possibility of being caught in a hurricane. In england we get some storms and high winds but not to the extent the region in central america and souther USA receives.

We are in the middle of the hurricane season at the moment and a look at the weather map shows 5 hurricanes all around us. We flew around the last few hurricanes on our last visist to Aruba, narrowly avoiding "Dennis" in Miami and also in Aruba as it came within a few hundred miles. Then when we arrived back in Belize, "Dennis" came whizzing passed us again hitting the northern Yucatan region of Mexico and damaging our favourite holday destination, Tulum.

And now as we prepare to leave Rochester on the North East coast of USA I can see "Rita", making its way west across the gulf of mexico. And as happened with "Katrina" the hurricane has picked up speed making it a Category 5. Thats 155+ mph. The warm waters of the gulf seem to add fuel to these winds. We fly from Houston on Friday afternoon so i think we may be getting a bumpy ride home to Belize.

Some people argue Global warming is causing this increase in hurricane activity and others say its cyclical. i.e the trends in hurricane activity run in cycles and at the moment we are in the midst of high hurricane activity. Whatever the cause, the last 2 years has seen a marked increase in my view. I do not know how people in Florida and especially the keys put up with all this. It seems to hit them all the time. I remember last year 4/5 hurricanes going through Florida and this year already they have had 4.

Lets just hope this new one doesnt cause as much damage as"Katrina" did.

The War in Iraq from a US Soldiers view point

This is pretty amazing stuff. A friend of mine in America has a brother out in Iraq. He sends her posts from the frontline. Want to know whats really going on out there? Its not exaclty what the media portrays. Check out his latest posting -

A US Soldiers viewpoint

"......hard to believe another week is already past. Last week was a flurry of activity. AQIZ, the Iraqi bad guys, launched a country wide "offensive"which meant we were busy. We had a lot of fighting going on all week. Our unit mostly fought in a small section of the city and in the rural surroundings. We had only minor casualties in the fighting which lasted about three days. No one from our unit was evacuated out for injuries. We captured a lot of "detainees" and it is turning out some are "high value". It is the first time the insurgents really tried to fight. In some ways three days of continuous fighting actually helped morale. The soldiers were finally fighting an enemy that was there around them. Usually there is no one to fight, just a bomb or a sniper's shots.

In reading the news sometimes I wonder how the media decides what tovreport. I know it must be difficult because for the media to report on this area they have to embed with us. Not many want that now because one, we do not live in very comfortable conditions, two, they would not really have free run of the area (and would be killed or kidnapped if they tried), and three, one could write the same stories, from the relative comfort and safety of Baghdad as here, just the place names would change. The problem is that gives a skewed report that Baghdad is a hot spot. Baghdad is actually calm and quiet. At Anaconda, a largebase in Baghdad, the soldiers do not even have to carry their weapons when not on duty. Here there is no such thing as not on duty. I do not think there are places in Iraq without daily attacks. The Kurdish controlled area in the north and the British controlled sector in the south are relatively safe. I would say safer than under Hussein. The rest of Iraq is under constant struggle. I am not sure the media has a handle on what is happening in the country anymore, maybe I need to try to read Newsweek or Time. The sources I see just report sporadic attacks in the outskirts of Baghdad with the occasional attack in the green zone. That may be the truth but then take every other major city in Iraq (around ten) and each of them is identical to Baghdad with daily sporadic fighting in the areas surrounding them and an occasional large coordinated attack. I do not know if that is the picture being painted to the American people.

I also know many Americans are now focused inward. Only around 80 soldiers of Mississippi's 155th Brigade Combat Team (around 6000 soldiers)have been allowed to go on emergency leave. Those soldiers mostly have dead or missing relatives. Around 30% of the soldiers homes were destroyed. That is 1800 soldiers who don't have a home to return to. There is no one to take their place and so they will stay in Iraq until January when they were scheduled to go home. ~40% of theMississippi National Guard is deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan right now. The US military is horribly over extended. One could argue that this was a disaster of unprecedented proportion (but not unpredicted) and that is correct.

What if North Korea decided now was a good time to invade South Korea. Could the United States get any troops there even to reinforce the 18000 there now? N Koreas army is about five times that size. I am sure there is a war bunker in Korea where they are discussing this. The choice would be let N Korea invade or pull the troops from the Gulf Coast. Military planners have war gamed fighting on three fronts. We have been fighting on two now for three years. Now with the reliance on Nat Grd and reserves to help fight on foreign fronts we cannot support the third"front", the Gulf Coast. A fourth is impossible........"

Sobering Stuff.

more from Belizean football. I am looking forward to a game when i return later this week, if my big toe has healed.

Our other hosts in Rochester, New York

I must not forget to say hi to our other gracious hosts Tom and Marge Gallagher, who live near Honeyoye a beautiful lake town in New York State. We have been friends since they visited the Belize Jungle Dome last year. This is a picture of Tom, with Horse and Carriage (Horse called Sean), Lucas and my mother in law Dorien who lives in Aruba.

And this is our Jungle Lodge

This is our Lodge in Belize. Situated in 3 acres of land on the Belize River it is a nature lovers paradise. Our neighbours include Parrots, Spider Monkeys, Toucans and Crocodiles although fortunately we don't see many crocs.

This picture was courtesy of the British Army who are based in Belize. They fly over us almost every day and one of the pilots stayed with us for a few nights. He promised us some aerial shots of the Jungle Dome and here it is.

Looking forward to the tropical life again

Here is a picture of the sort of stuff we are involved with down in Belize. This is Barton Creek Caves, one of the trips that our guests take part in. Its a 7km cave although you only go inside the cave for 1km to explore the limestones formations, mayan history and archaeological finds. This is Mum and Dad with our Tour Guide Gonzo.

politics of the day

My time in USA has been an interesting one, and i have had a few heated debates with various people along the way. Top of the list has been George Bush, followed closely by immigration issues and thirdly, the right to bear arms. I have been labelled a liberal by many of the people we have met, due to my anti-war stance and seemingly outrageous view that i think dropping bombs is a bad thing!!

I live in Belize in Central America and am seeing the opposite side of the immigration problem that is facing america. We have a lot of poorer people living around us and many if not most seek the riches and wealth of a life in the states. Of course they have no idea that once you arrive there you have to work hard, have a decent education and in some intstances have a few lucky breaks along the way to create the American Dream. I have seen 5 men leave their homes and families in the last 5 months, snaking the way up from Belize, through mexico, being apprehended by mexican gangs, who demand money for their release. They reach the Mexican/USA border and play the ping pong game as they bounce backwards and forwards from Mexico to USA being arrested/released and harrassed along the way until finally they reach Nirvana. Of course once they arrive in the USA, reality soon hits home and they start to understand that the american way for most people is not as they have seen in the Movies or in magazines. And all of the men that i know made it. It seems that there is a 100% success rate for Mexicans, Belizeans, Guatemalans etc, with no passport, no papers and no money to make it into the USA. So long as they have enough patience.

And for the Americans that i have met, the frustration at seeing this influx of foreigners is too much to take and their tax dollars are increasingly being spent supporting "illegal aliens", a very unflattering term to describe people seeking a better life. My parents also complain about a similar problem in England as do people in most western societies who all have a great life compared to the people in the poorer countries of the world.

And it seems that the USA is split right down the middle with regards to supporting their war in Iraq as does the public in England. Ask someone for their opinion and most people will have a strong view one way or another. Me - well i never thought it was a good idea, and cannot believe that the politicians who approved this invasion have still been able to blinker the masses into thinking they were doing the honourable thing. I still havnt heard of a weapon of mass destruction being found and i'm sure most people will be aware of the escalating violence in the country.

As for catching terrorists. Well my analogy is this :: invade a country under whatever made-up premise you might have, ideaology, oil, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism or whatever excuse you feel like giving and kill whoever it is you wish to remove. Job done! However kill innocent people due to unfortunate "collateral damage" and what do you get. Mothers, without husbands, sons and daughters or Children withour parents or Fathers without families. These people now become your new terrorists. Filled with hate and anger for what has happened to their families. And where is that hate directed. At the perpetrators of these attacks. And so the cycle begins again. Here we are in 2005, learning nothing from our past and blindly creating chaos and hatred for the future. What a crazy world we live in.

Another blast from the past. Me gurning to the camera in front of a packed stadium at Chelsea.
As suspected in an earlier post Chelsea have opened a rather threatening gap at the top of the premier league and the 0-0 draw between Man Utd and Liverpool will have been a welcome result to the west londerners.

Good to see Newcastle finally getting some points and i'm sure Souness is a very relieved manager tonight, seeing his side make a timely jump up the table. Had the team screwed up today i think he would have been spending some time explaining the predicament to Freddie Shephard.

If you think football fans in the UK are diehards, the surgeon we know out here in the states must be a fanatic. This morning he left for a 7 1/2 drive to watch Notre Dame vs Michigan State in an American Football game. This was a College game, not even Pro football. Then he drives 7 1/2 hours back. Thats dedication.

Its kinda big!

Niagara Falls Road Trip

Today we had a big road trip visiting the Niagara Falls in Canada. You can visit from either side of the border (USA or Canada), but as we had never been into Canada we thought we would cross to the other side. After having nearly a year of running a Tourist Resort we turned the tables and played true Tourists with all the other Japanese, Indian, American and other Europeans clamouring to see the waterfalls. And what a great sight. Our digital camera never stopped snapping and we caught some great pics of Niagara.

And of course we had the obligatory securty problem, returning through the US border as we stopped our car to get our passports out the boot, only to incur the wrath of the border patrol officers for scaring them!!

But we had a fantastic day and it definitely is one of the worlds great natural wonders.

Simone, Me and Lucas doing the tourist thing!!

awesome power of the falls

Me and Lucas enjoying the view

Niagara Falls

The very impressive Niagara Falls, seen from the Canadian side.

Charltons bad day

I predicted the scoreline of 2-0 in my earlier posting, for todays premier league showdown between Charlton and Chelsea, although i was not so lucky at predicting the victorious team.

Alan Curbishleys post match comments will ring hollow around the world of football as he laments on the power of Chelseas team on the pitch, due to the power of Chelsea off the pitch as a result of Abramovich's millions.

And with Arsenal (one of the other premier league powerhouses) minus Henry and trailing Chelsea by a long way already, and Man Utds tricky away game at Liverpool today, it is looking like ominous reading for the premier league as Chelseas continue where they left off last year.

Here are a couple of old duffers enjoying the Belizean sea front. Its not quite like Yarmouth or Cromer. Actually its my mum and dad, Terry and Yvonne strolling down the beach on one of the Tropical Islands in Belize (ambergris caye). They visisted for 4 weeks and probably had enough adventure for a lifetime, exploring the Mayan Temples in Tikal, Canoing through Caves at Barton Creek, Splashing around on a Cave Tubing trip, plus swimming with Sharks.

Although i think dad was less than impressed by the snorkeling trip as he swallowed half of the caribbean sea trying to use the snorkel.

As I explained in my previous post Lucas had his eye operation in Rochester. We cannot thank the hospital staff enough for all there assistance. Here are some pictures of the team that took care of Lucas. A special thanks to Cindy Gordon. We met Cindy in Belize last year when she was staying at our neighbours Jungle Lodge. Cindy and her colleagues came over for a few drinks after their days work in the Jungle and the surrounding towns. The medical team works for a project called Intervol.

They come to Belize every year to carry out surgery on the local people and to provide free medical assistance where needed. And the amazing thing is that the medical team pays their own air-fare, food and accommodation while they are in Belize. So they volunteer their time and pay for it.

Cindy and her colleagues including Ralph the boss and surgeon, Mike the anaesthesiologist, Peggy the nurse, Jamie from Intervol and numerous other people all live in Rochester, New York.

Here is Lucas and Simone, about to enter the surgery room with the staff. Lucas was given a shot of something about 15 minutes before this picture and was in a very "tipsy" state by the time this picture was taken.

Simone and Lucas after the operation. Two very relieved parents after witnessing their son receive a General Anaesthetic.

I'm sure all parents reading this will be able to understand our fears and worries as Lucas was given a general anaesthetic. But as the picture shows he was fine afterwards leading to a rapid recovery.

Me and Lucas here are discussing the finer points of the "diamond formation" in soccer on a beautiful autumn day in the New York countryside.

Of course I must not forget to thank the surgeon who carried out the procedure Dr Rosengerg, pictured here with Lucas and his colleague.

This is the post operation check up to ensure all went well. Thankfuly it did and we are grateful for his skills and kindness throughout the operation.

And last but not least here is a picture of our fantastic hosts Cindy and Roy Gordon. Their hospitality was brilliant. Roy took me for a round of golf where he thrashed me. We played off the blue tees, which i believe are the championship tees, making every hole as long as it could possibly be. So i posted a less than impressive 117. Roy completed his round in 88, which was as equally impressive as mine was disappointing.

And we cant say enough about Cindy. Her kindness and consideration for us and Lucas was much appreciated by me and Simone. She even organized my Toe operation, although i'm not sure if i should thank her or curse her for that!!! And when the women hit the mall for some recuperation, she gladly accepted the invite for some shopping therapy. And the malls in America are something to be seen to be believed. Cheap, huge and easily fill an afternoon.

Intervol will be coming down to Belize again this year for several visits and we look forward to taking care of them on their return to Belize. Simone will be providing them with some assitance and helping them make more new contacts down in Belize so they can continue their work. It looks like Simones Jaden Foundation and Intervol are going to be doing alot more good work in the coming years aiding with the medical care and education in Belize.
Its Saturday morning and I see the half time scores coming in. Not looking so good for West Brom at the moment in the North East, but Charlton are 0-0 with the West London Champions. I'm off to the Mall with 3 women so wish me luck as they drag me around the shops. And i hope to see a 2-0 scoreline in favour of Charlton Athletic when i return this afternoon.
For anyone interested in Blogging, there are some great tools on the web to enhance your site. I highly recommend Feedburner, which has loads of great tools for converting your feeds into readable formats. You can add statistics to your blog, allow people to subscribe to your feeds through
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Another great feature is the headline animator below :

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With a little bit of Html code you can have animator cycle through your 5 latest postings.

There is another option called Buzzboost which displays the latest postings in a text format although i havnt quite figured this one out yet.


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