Jungle Dome Web Project - Part 3

Richie has mocked up this latest offering for the website, featuring the Jungle Dome and the Mayan Symbols running horizontally along the bottom of the page. We are still not sure whether to run the Mayan symbols vertically or horizontally. Also the Geodesic Dome will probably be rendered in a 3D version so that there is more of an interaction with the web user. Although how that will turn out we are not sure yet.

Although the design is starting to take shape we still have the Search Engine Optimizing to do. This will probably involve creating some hard text links outside of the Flash image that will be the main page. So that the link to our "Vacation Packages" page will be a Mayan Symbol for exploring but there will also be a text link named "Vacation Packages" which is very handy for the Search Engines to understand the page being linked too.

We will also have to carefully create the HTML Title so that it fully represents our business plus has the keywords associated with how a Searcher on the internet will find us. For Instance people will quite likely look for Belize Vacation Packages when they search on Google, Yahoo or MSN. So our Title may be something like "Belize Jungle Dome Adventure Vacation Packages, Tours, Travel and Holidays". These words will be scattered throughout our pages although each page will be optimized for a different set of words. This is how you create a website that is friendly to the Search Engines. This gives a site good placement in the Search Engine results when combined with some good incoming Links from other sites.

Part 1 of the Jungle Dome Web Project
Part 2 of the Jungle Dome Web Project

What do we do in Belize??

Read my other Blog, the Belize Jungle Dome Adventure Travel Blog at http://belizevacation.blogspot.com/ to see the job that pays the bills.

Two of my former Clubs go head to head

West Bromwich Albion host Newcastle United today in what is obviously a game of interest to me as I spent a combined 8 years at the 2 Clubs.

Both having very dissapointing seasons so far. For West Brom they must look at their peers such as Wigan and be envious that they cannot sustain a run in the premier league to take them away from trouble. As for Newcastle United, they will see their peers as Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal and although only Chelsea are firing on all cylinders, Newcastle really have no excuses for their league position. With a very expensive squad at their disposal, a huge fan base and what seems to be a bottomless pot of cash they should be challenging. Not this year though.

Thanks for the link from this Newcastle Blog : http://www.blackandwhiteandreadallover.blogspot.com/ who seems to have a very extensive list of football blogs.

Winds of change in the Premier League

What on earth is going on in the Premier League in England? The top 5 doesn't include either Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool or even Newcastle. Instead Bolton, Charlton, Tottenham, Wigan and of course the mighty Blues are holding the top 5 spots. I am amazed at the change that is occurring in the premier league at the moment. It seems that the world is Chelseas oyster as all the teams in with a realistic chance of challenging them are just handing the title over to Chelsea.

Man Utds heavy defeat against Middlesbrough will send a clear signal that although they are a great team on their day, they no longer are the dominant force to be feared. And for so many years the thought of playing Man Utd would send a tingle of fear through the oppositions dressing room.

Hats off to Wigan and Bolton for accumulating a fine points total after a quarter of the season, although it is doubtful that they will have the staying power to challenge Chelsea. As for Man Utd, Ferguson must really be wondering how to bridge the now so obvious gap between his team and Chelsea. Perhaps the wind of change will soon blow through Old Trafford.

Update Link list to this Blog

Charlton Athletic

Newcastle United

Chelsea FC

Manchester City


Send me an email if you have linked to Escribbler and want to be added to this list.

Top 10 Dead Royalty Earners

1. Elvis Presley
2. Charles Schulz
3. John Lennon
4. Andy Warhol
5. Theodor Geisel
6. Marlon Brando
7. Marilyn Monroe
8. JRR Tolkien
9. George Harrison
10. Johnny Cash

Elvis Presleys estate picked up a cool $45 million last year in royalties, topping the list for the last 5 years. Wow!! Good to see JRR Tolkien in their as well. Amazing to think how much money these people create for their heirs. Article courtesy of Forbes

Why do I live in Belize? - Here are 4 picture clues!

This is what Simone, Me and Lucas did yesterday waiting for the car to be fixed - luuuuvly

A day at Old Belize relaxing in the sun while our Nissan Terrano is being serviced at the garage

Simone and Lucas practicing the art of Canoeing

Emails from the Past

I just got an email from Jeremy Robinson, a reporter from the Sunday Sun in Newcastle asking me some old time favourite footy questions like

Favourite Team-mate?
Favourite away ground?
Favourite moment?
Favourite game?
Toughest Opponent?

I guess I will get around to answering these soon but he did also mention an old acquaintance in Newcastle called Jim Mawdsley who used to be the entrance officer for the Polytechnic in Newcastle. I used to call him to blag an entry into the fine establishment on Friday nights and have to say it was my favourite night out in my early days in Newcastle. Thanks for reminding me of those long gone days when I first moved up to Newcastle to play for the Toon.

Part 2 of the Jungle Dome Web Project

Draft No 2 from Richie for the Logo. He has been playing around with digital picture of the house preparing it for use as our logo. Although this image still has too much going on to make it usable it has a lot of flexibility to allow Richie to edit it further.

Part 1 of the Jungle Dome Web Project

Chelseas reign is over!!!!

I just got a message from CFC in Belize, a Chelsea fan i guess thanking me for not mentioning the Charlton victory against Chelsea in the Carling Cup. Ooops. I forgot about it but now i have mentioned it. Congratulations to Charlton for toppling the mighty Chelsea, an amazing feat for the South London Team and another confirmation of the real threat Charlton appear to have this year.

As for Chelsea! Well i guess it is one trophy they can live without this year. But now will be a true test for the team after a draw with Everton and now a defeat. Every team has a slip up at some point in the year. The test of real champions is how they come back from this. They are not used to losing and it will be hurting them and especially the manager. I'm sure their egos will be bruised so it will be very interesting to see how they react on Saturday. Will they be fighting amongst themselves or will it spur them on too bigger things and create an even tighter unit at the club? Anyway congratulations to the Charlton team.

Documenting a Web Design Project

1st draft for a Logo for the Belize Jungle Dome to be used for the side of our vehicles

Myself and Richie Simpson a friend from the UK are working on a new web design for the Belize Jungle Dome. Originally when we set the Belize Jungle Dome website up i kept the old domain name from our previous business in Belize called www.greendragonbelize.com. This site has been registered with all the appropriate Travel Associations in Belize such as the Belize Tourism Board and Belize Hotels Association and as our business developed in Belize so did the website, which is peaking at the moment with 1,500 hits a day.

But we also created the domain name www.belizejungledome.com which is more obviously connected to the Belize Jungle Dome business. I got lazy with the initial set up and just used a copy of the same template from the greendragonbelize.com site. But now Richie has landed in Belize he has agreed to help me develop this into a really great site by re-designing it from scratch.

Another 1st draft for the initial page of the website. This is a very early stage but gives you an idea of our first thoughts into the web design

Richie specializes in Animation and manipulation of Images and works alot with software such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Macromedias Flash Player. The idea for the site will be based around the Geodesic Dome Shape that is so distinctive with the Belize Jungle Dome.

Mayan Symbols

It will also lean heavily on the ancient Mayan history of Belize using many of the Mayan Symbols as hyperlinks to the other pages on the site. We offer numerous Tours in Belize discovering the rich and varied history of the Mayans who populated this area in huge numbers 1,000s of years ago.

So it's very appropriate for us to be using these symbols which have a great significance all around Belize and the Yucatan Region.

These symbols will probably make up a great part of the site providing navigational links to other pages. Richie has been finding the appropriate symbol to represent different parts of the site. For instance the symbol "na" meaning house, may be used to represent the link to the Jungle Dome itself.

I will be documenting the process of building the new site over the next few weeks and months to hopefully its conclusion and the release of a very polished new website.

Picture of the Day - Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins in Belize

This picture was taken by the British Army flying over the tropical seas of Belize. What a fantastic photo of the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins cruising the Caribbean seas. We offer some great trips to the Islands. Click here for more information or visit this link : http://www.greendragonbelize.com/tropicalislandvacation.html

Googles update has been kind to us at the Belize Jungle Dome

We are preparing ourselves for the upcoming high season here in Belize with a lot of excitement as it fast approaches. Although we only have 3 rooms here at the Belize Jungle Dome we will have between 6-12 people everyday to feed and look after. We aim at the Adventure Travel Market offering exciting trips into the Jungle and to the Tropical Islands of Belize, so most of our guests have full itineraries including visits to Tikal in Guatemala, Actun Tunichil Muknal Caving and Archaeological Adventure, Black Hole Drop Rapelling Trip, Jungle Horseback Riding, Scuba Diving , and loads more trips

Although I was a professional footballer for 10 years my formal training was in the Tourism Industry. I trained for 2 years at the Norfolk College of Arts and Technology in Kings Lynn,Norfolk completing a National Diploma in Business and Tourism Management, before adding a further 2 years of training at Bournville College in Birmingham.

I didn't plan to run a Jungle Lodge in the depths of Belize but I am thankful that during my football years I managed to squeeze some extra education in so I was able to diversify after my career ended in football. I have also taught myself the basics of HTML, which has been invaluable in the development of my business here in Belize. We don't get too much passing traffic in the Jungle and so I set about creating the following Websites to increase our exposure :

Belize Jungle Dome Blog
Simones Belize Blog

This last year I have also self taught myself the relatively new business of Search Engine Optimization a very useful tool for any Web Designers and business owners who want to increase the visibility of their websites on the internet. If you do not appear on the front page of Google, Yahoo or MSN search engines then you are missing out on a lot of traffic to your sites. And over the next few months I plan to develop the sites even further creating a very polished www.belizejungledome.com with the aid of a web designer staying with us Richie Simpson.

As the new Tourism season in Belize looms upon us I am happy to say that our main site www.greendragonbelize.com broke the 1,000 hits barrier yesterday and today has rocketed through this number reaching a heady 1,300 hits as I write this. I think part of the increase in traffic has been the recent "Jagger" Google Update, which in laymans terms means that Googles algorithms (the complicated mathematical formulas that they use to create their rankings) has been very kind to us and has jumped us even higher up the google rankings. We now rank very highly for the term Belize Vacation, which is fantastic for our American market. Also if you search for Belize Holidays we also rank impressively high on the front page of Google. Great for the UK Market.

With only 3 rooms to fill I think we will be having a very busy year!!

Some other interesting Belize Websites :

Belize Tourism Board
Francis Ford Coppollas Blancaneaux Lodge

On another note is was a very sad day to see that the US forces have now surpassed 2,000 deaths in Iraq. Whatever can justify this kind of fatalities is beyond me. And we are not even taking into account the innocent Iraqi deaths, British and other forces out in Iraq. I ridicule Bush constantly in this Blog and would love the chance to meet him or more importantly his puppet masters Bush senior, Rumsfeld or Cheney.

These guys are sitting safe and sound in their ivory towers making decisions of huge global consequences, misleading and deceiving the public of America as the UK public is being deceived by an overwhelming propaganda machine which is struggling to paper over the cracks of an ill-conceived war without any end in sight. I cannot remember the last time i saw George Bush on TV delivering a speech from anywhere other than an Army Base, War Boat, or to his own Army of Cronies who politely applaud his efforts.

Full credit to Tony Blair for being available for comment and criticism even though he must be finding it harder and harder to justify his countries efforts in Iraq. Bush will surely be condemned to a large chapter in history as the man who rocked the world with his Monkey smirk, justifying his actions with a fanatical Christian and patriotic belief to the detriment of all who fall outside his sphere of understanding. I just have this image of him shutting the doors of the whitehouse behind him and laughing with a big fat cigar and a cognac, wondering what he has done wrong. Everyone has a conscience, lets hope dubya finds his one day.

Iraqi Constitution from our friend in Iraq

"They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it's worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore."

George Carlin

Two Chinese Students

I am privileged to have a set of friends who trawl the web for exciting websites!!!! This clip of 2 Chinese Students came from Sasha Ilich, the former Charlton Athletic Goalkeeper. Thanks Sash.

Click Here or paste this code into your browser : http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6739710473912337648

Watch them Bees!!

A few Bees started to check out a gap in the wooden boards in the outside of the Belize Jungle Dome. We didn't really think much about it and a few weeks passed by and the Bee colony seemed to grow. A month passed and we still didn't do anything. Eventually Simone nagged me enough to sort the Bees out so we arranged to have them removed. And this is what we found above the ceiling in our Pool-Side Junior Suite. Thats alot of Honeycomb and too many bees for comfort!!

Hurricane Wilma and Iris

Our thoughts go out to the people of the North East Yucatan Region of Mexico as they receive the full force of Hurricane Wilma which has spent 2 days churning over Cozumel and Cancun. They were in the way of a previous Hurricane earlier this season as Playa Del Carmen and Tulum were badly damaged and I hope it hasn't caused too much long term damage. Fortunately for us here in Belize we have avoided all the effects of the hurricane and long may that continue.

And it seems that this storm is heading back across the Gulf to Florida, which always seems to get hit. I really don't know how people can live in Florida. It constantly gets battered by high winds and storms. The people who live on the Florida Keys, which looks so vulnerable must dread this time of year.

We were caught by one in 2001 (Hurricane Iris) when we had just arrived in Belize. 2 months after landing in the tropics, Iris was bearing down on us heading directly for the middle of the country. We were under huge amounts of rain and some high winds so we moved to the bottom of the Jungle Dome to sit it out. Just as it was about to make landfall the Hurricane moved south and blew across Placencia destroying the local community, resorts and the Banana Plantations.

When we were looking for property in Belize we had visited Placencia, a beautiful Beach Front peninsula on the South East coast of Belize and seen a small resort for sale. It was a few months from completion, with 3 beach front rooms, bar, restaurant and a small parcel of beach property. We loved it but were wary of the effects a storm might have on this area. Fortunately our decision was correct and we chose the Belize Jungle Dome instead. The Belize Jungle Dome is a Geodesic Dome, which should be able to withstand high winds, although i hope we never have to test this.

We later found out that the Placencia property was completely destroyed, with the owner sat in the Princess Hotel in Belize City waiting to move into his dream home.

Today i am hoping to get a game of golf in at the Roaring River Golf Course(near Belmopan), which is just 20 minutes from us. Its only a 9 hole course but it's quite "tight" making for some tricky play. We have no game in the Cauwich Cup (football) this weekend as we have already qualified for the next round so some Golf seems the perfect Sunday afternoon entertainment.

And tomorrow we welcome back Karen Turner who has been on Holiday in Canada for the last 3 weeks. Karen is a Yoga and Pilates Teacher plus she is also a Fitness Instructor. She moved to Belize last year and runs the Jungle Dome with me and Simone. Karen returns in time to get ready for the high season in Belize, which for us starts in 2 weeks.


Hurrican Wilma
Property in Belize
Belize Jungle Dome
Geodesic Domes
Princess Hotel Belize City
Karens Belize Blog
Simones Belize Blog
Yoga Retreats

Who was No 1 on your birthday?

Do you know who was No1 in the charts on the day you was born? Check out this website to see your birthdate No1 in America or UK.


For me it was "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry in England and "The Long and Winding Road" by the Beatles was No1 in America. Two great songs i think.

Javascript Banner Images

Thanks to Richie Simpson i have added some very nice Javascript Banner Images to my website www.greendragonbelize.com.

With the addition of some Javascript code on the site all our pages now have Banner Images that fade in and out showing all the great pictures we have taken over the last few years in Belize. Visit the Belize Jungle Dome website to have a look at the new images.

Next we will be looking for some code that allows me to play the images randomly rather than in order.

Javascript resources :


Hoe goed is je Nederlands?

Hurricane Wilma passes Belize

Fortunately Hurricane Wilma has passed us by. Inland we have just received some light winds and a little rain although on the islands of Belize it has been more turbulent. Hopefully the Yucatan region of Mexico will not receive too much damage but it does look like the Cancun area will be having some problems in the next day or so.

Links to Hurricane Wilma

Weather Underground Satellite Images
BBC News

Here comes Hurricane Wilma

Here we go again with another anxious few days as the most powerful Hurricane that has ever formed in the Caribbean starts to threaten the East coast of Mexico and possibly Belize. With winds of over 175 mph it is moving very slowly in a North West direction, so we are expecting at the least some heavy rain and wind over the next few days. Lets hope Hurrican Wilma blows itself out and causes no damage to this region.
Enter the highland Pipe-Off

MTV Wildboyz in Belize

MTVs Wildboyz also visited Belize last year. Visit the Wildboyz website for pictures of the crazy stunts they got up to. Including putting leaf cutter ants on their genitals, gaining the attention of the Tapir and Jabiru Storks with Bananas and fish between their butt cheeks and riding horseback through the Jungle, tarzan style.

BBC Steve Backshall in Belize for the Really Wild Show

The BBC came to Belize last year to film for the Really Wild Show. They travelled around the country filming all the wildlife and they popped by our Jungle Lodge for a dip in the pool.

South Londons Finest

I had to laugh when i read the article on this Charlton Blog today. I certainly would not want to give the impression i am playing in the Roy Keane style. Although I do see that he has retired from international football and maybe he will calm his playing style down to mimick my sunday afternoon stroll around. Anyway thanks for the mention.

Sundays cracker at the Belize Jungle Dome was a feisty game with our team Banana Bank hosting Cotton Tree. 3 pm we kicked off as the temperature in the bar roared to 95F. We strode out to another victory, 5-1 this time, aided by a sending off to the other team. Yours truly notched a couple although the heat minimized my efforts to run around. After 3 wins we have now qualified for the next round of the Cauwich cup, so next weekend we get a break. Although i havn't been counting the games, i estimate that the Banana Bank team has now had about 25 consecutive victories. If anyone wants to fly out to Belize and bring a team we are looking for a friendly game next weekend. Round trip airfare runs at about $1,000 USD from England!!!

The weekends premier league results provided a welcome victory for West Brom surprising Arsenal who really are off the pace this year. When i tuned in on saturday to the results, Bolton had just taken the lead at Stamford Bridge. But it was too good to last and i would imagine that Mourinho really earned his few scheckles with his half time team talk. A flying start to the second half put a sharp halt to Boltons aspirations for 3 points.

As i write this article i am watching the Charlton v Fulham game. Charlton really look to have an exciting team this year with lots of attacking options and a committed side. This is the first time i have managed to see my old team on TV and i am very impressed with what i have seen. The pace of the Premier league really is breaktaking at times. The skill levels and speed of passing is something that i can really appreciate as an ex player. Sometimes when you are sitting in the stands or watching it on TV it can look like the players are moving slowly or you can get so frustrated because it looks so easy. But believe me when you are out on the pitch with the pressures of the game upon you, it is a totally different game. Suddenly you don't feel like you have as much time on the ball and the pitch seems so much smaller. It's the same when you take a penalty. The goalkeeper looks so big in the goal and so does the ball. It really is a mind game. You have to block everything out that is surrounding you and focus so hard on the penalty kick. Fans will be cursing you and chanting, other players will try to psyche you out and then of course your mind can start to play tricks on you as you prepare for the kick. This is where 100% concentration is vital.

I have noticed that apart from the physical strength and skills that professional footballers have, another major difference between them and regular football players is the mental approach to the game. Sometimes with the team i play with here in Belize, the players just seem to go weak at the crucial moment. It's almost like they are embarassed to score the goal and kill the other team off. You really need that killer instinct to want to score the goal, make the tackle or dispute a decision.

Me, Simone and Lucas now have a welcome one week break from guests at the Jungle Dome. We have been trying to get Lucas into pre-school without much success. Every time he goes he just cries. We have even signed up his best friend into class so he has a pal to go with. But she got out the car this morning balling her eyes out. So tomorrow morning we will give it one more shot to see if they two of them can handle a day in school.

Voting in Iraq - a Soldiers Viewpoint

Well the constitutional referendum is in the past. It was quiet here
with not much in the way of problems. It was a surreal day "out there".
Normally crowded market places were deserted. People were walking
everywhere in the rural areas where there usually is no one but

Of note, there was not a single female voter in this Province.
The voting here did not match up with the rest of the country. More
participation than last year but less than 5% turn out. We have not
heard which way the voting went.

Why did no one vote here? Many reasons
probably, Sunnis feel left out, insurgents threaten to kill voters, the
population feels the American occupation (their words)is driving and
controlling the whole process, the polling sites were kept secret until
two days before the election, and many people just don't care(just like
in the US). Despite the lack of turn out and the overall bad attitude
of this area, there was a sense of something good happening on the day.
People waved at us and thanked us for protecting the polling sites.
People seemed happy to be out and not threatened by speaking with us.
Soldiers, US and Iraqi, felt like they were doing something worthwhile
at least for the day.

What happens now? We go back to the patrolling
and searching for the bad guys. There are a lot more now, because many
came in pre-election and we had to focus on protecting/preparing polling
sites which meant the insurgents could move in other areas more freely.
We will also expect to see more fighting among the insurgent groups as
the local thugs look to push the foreign fighters out of the area. We
recently got some 30-40 replacements in the battalion, so we are close
to full strength.

I was asked to comment on Bush's sit down with US
soldiers in Iraq. All I can say(because I did not see it) is that
everyone here knew ahead of time it was scripted and the soldiers were
pre-selected. That was not a secret here. It was what we call a "dog and
pony show". I am not sure if that saying is used outside the military.
There is not much that is unscripted after the enlisted soldier in
Kuwait hit Mr Rumsfeld with the surprise question about armored

Wigan 1 Newcastle 0

Newcastle United really are unable to get their season going at the moment. I am especially interested as they are one of my former teams and i also played for a long time with Scott Parker, when i was at Charlton and Robbie Elliott during my time at Newcastle United. Scott is a fantastic player, very skilfull and combative. I know the geordie faithful can be a tough crowd to play in front of and i hope he is able to enjoy his time there. It will be a daunting task at the moment due to the very inconsistent start to the season. I think Scott should have stayed with Charlton Athletic instead of moving to Chelsea a few years ago. He would have continued to develop his skills and mature as a player in the premier league with a team that really valued him and when you see the relative positions of Charlton and Newcastle you have to think that Charlton would have been a decent team to have continued playing for.

I stayed with Robbie and his family for a year when i was at Newcastle and he was a good friend in my time in the north east. Robbie always had a few injuries with his knees but when he played he was an incredible full back. Very competitive and i used to cringe at some of the tackles he would make during games and practice. I'm glad to see he is back in the team.

You can hardly even think of an excuse for Souness and the team at the moment. They have spent alot of money, brought in some world class players and yet are still unable to sustain their form. As for Wigan, what an impressive start to their season. After the first few games it looked like an uphill task for them. But they have put together a string of results and now sit proudly in mid-table of the premier league.

Links on this post

Newcastle United official website
Wigan Athletic Official Website
Charlton Athletic Official Website
BBC Match Report

Sundays Cracker, Englands World Cup efforts, West Ham United

This sunday we play in the next leg of the Cauwich cup, a local football tournament between the teams in the Cayo District of Belize. There are 2 divisions of 8 teams, although several sides have dropped out already due to heavy defeats. We play a team called Cotton Tree on Sunday, here at the Soccer field outside the Belize Jungle Dome, our Adventure Holiday Resort.

So tomorrow we will be mowing the grass, fixing the nets, preparing the food/drinks for all the teams and liming the lines. It will be a hectic weekend as i have guests arriving too, so i will be up and down the highway to Belize City, plus planning the trips for our guests. We also have 2 families from BATSUB, the British Army Training Camp staying with us on Saturday night, so i am sure they will enjoy seeing some football on Sunday.

I forgot to congratulate England on qualifying for the world cup finals this week. Although i didn't see the games i listened to the news online through BBC Radio. It seems that England really are not playing with much style and their victories in the last 2 games were hardly convincing. Lets just hope that by the time the teams gather for Germany 2006, England will be an exciting team worth watching and in with a great chance of winning the World Cup.

Another congratulations must go to Alan Pardew from West Ham United. It seems that he is in discussions for a new contract with the East London Club, a position that looked highly unlikely at the end of last year as they scrapped into the Premier League.

Links in this post ::

Picture is Me and my "gringo" friend John Simpson at the end of the game last week.

Iraqi "No Spin" update

Escribbler writes about many different subjects. One is our on-going football tournament in Belize, Two is the Internet and Blogs, Three is Football in England, Four is poking fun at George Bush, Five is life in Belize and Six is the regular update from Iraq.

Here is the latest no spin news from my friends brother who is serving his time in the US army. These articles are always unedited and this one was written today.

"Hello All, I figured I would start this week off with a list of good things here in Iraq. Sun tea......that's about all I could come up with. We are finished the first week of Ramadan, the holiest time of year for muslims. It is about a month long, is always in the ninth month of the muslim year and begins with the sighting of the new moon over Mecca. It commemorates Mohammed receiving divine revelation of the Qur'an. It is a period of spiritual "dryness" ramida. The goal is to develop or reaffirm Allah conciousness. The main way of participating is fasting from sunrise to set, "sawm". The day begins with Suhoor a pre-dawn meal and ends with iftar, after sunset.

The fasting includes even no water for most. Pregnant women, children and the infirm are exempt. Eid al-Fitr is the celebration feast that ends Ramadan and is a big party. In the past attacks against US forces have decreased during this period but attacks against Iraqi Army, Police and civilians have increased.

One problem is that during this period families gather after dark for meals together. This is complicated if there is a curfew, so our curfew is raised to 1100pm. Also people often gather at Mosques so crowds of people are more common during Ramadan. The insurgency uses these things to change their methods of attack. Of course the Mujahadeen can eat during Ramadan, Allah allows this.

The Iraqi soldiers still fast for the most part so the "Muj" are fit and the ISF are weak during this time. Crowds at night, and near Mosques allow the "muj" to move weapons and themselves around more easily and the late curfew can allow car bombers to get closer to their targets than during the day. The upcoming elections are more concerning to us than Ramadan. That is coming up soon and we do not know what turnout will be here. Last year only one tenth of 1% came out to vote, so improvemnent is well within reach"

The latest on our Footy tournament

Yesterday was a scorching hot day in Belize, not the ideal climate for a 1pm kick off in the mid day sun at Unitedville, for the next leg of our tournament. Lucas was a lobster at half time, so we had to take drastic precautions in the second half to stop him from burning up in the heat. Fortunately the clouds provided a little bit more cover in the second half giving all of us some relief.

Our game was against a local village team called St Matthews, who had a bunch of young whipersnappers running around biting at our ankles.

We cruised to a comfortable 6-1 victory making us 2 wins from our first 2 games. It was all very professional with the referee insisting everyone wear shin-pads and tuck their shirts in. It made me feel like an 8 year old as the referee kept running around telling us to pull our socks up. And for those players who tried to hoodwink the ref by only wearing 1 shin-pad they ALL got yellow cards. You gotta luv a ref with an ego. Still i can't complain too much. The way things get organised here in Belize its a refreshing change to see someone trying to do his job properly.

Which is more than can be said for our team. Although i don't run the team, me and my friend John provide the vehicles. We need one other car to take the team and of course that didn't materialise. So at 12.45pm we are driving around looking for a new car and about 6 of our players, who had decided to go and play in another tournament. I remember the days when my Dad, Terry used to run the teams in Ashill, Norfolk. He used to get so wound up by the players. Every saturday we would drive around trying to find the last few stragglers to make up an 11. Some would be in bed, some would be in someone elses bed, others would be shopping. We always did it but Dad used to go crazy.

Anyway i have been in Belize too long to get as wound up about it as Dad used to. So i take it all with a pinch of salt.

We found our players in the end, John piled them into the back of his pick up, and we headed off to the match. And Lucas survived the day without burning up, to the relief of myself as Simone would not have been happy to see Lucas suffering from heat stroke when we came home.

Download our Animated Promo for the Mayan Mayhem sweepstakes by clicking here or on the image below.

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Pointless Nonsense - Penquin Pooh Pressure

This years Ig Nobel awards acknowledging some of sciences greatest achievements.

Dog Testicles

Medicine - Gregg Miller from the US for his invention of Neuticles - rubber replacement testicles for neutered dogs that are available in varying sizes and degrees of firmness. "Considering my parents thought I was an idiot when I was a kid, this is a great honour," said Mr Miller


Stressed Frogs

Biology - The University of Adelaide for "painstakingly smelling and cataloguing the peculiar odours produced by 131 different species of frogs when the frogs were feeling stressed".


Penquin Pooh

Fluid Dynamics - Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh - Calculations on Avian Defaecation

Bush talks to God

George Bush seems to have got himself into more hot water after being quoted as saying
"'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan. And I did, and then God would tell me, George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq... And I did

'And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East. And by God I'm gonna do it"

He is a worrying leader. I guess he must be getting inspiration from somewhere and if its from God what better justification. And cynical me thought it was all about the oil.

Claims were made by a Palestinian Negotiator for the the upcoming TV series Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs

Bush Articles BBC and Guardian


If that isn't a concern then an insight into the mind of another influential US Christian leader (televangelist) Pat Robertson might be. Here is his fascinating thoughts into dealing with other world leaders (talking about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez)

"If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it," said Robertson Monday. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war."

Seriously, a Christian leader said this on TV. Hardly seems like a divinely inspired quote??

Thou shalt not kill. hmmmmm. Commandments : Subsection 4, Paragraph 12.3 "....Unless I say so..."

And this comes from a hugely influential figure in the USA. And we think the Middle East is full of fanatical religious leaders....

full articles CNN and Media Matters


And the UK has started to threaten Iran about aiding the insurgents in Iraq. I hope we are not headed for another roll of the dice on the Risk board!!

BBC Article

Football practice in the Tropics

Last weekend i was hoping for my first game of football since returning from my holiday in the USA. But the game was cancelled and so i had to wait until last night for the next game. On Tuesday we had another training session, where a further 16 people turned out to kick the ball around under our Floodlights. And last night we were invited to play against the semi-pro team in Belmopan.

Thinking this was going to be a tough game for us our expectations were not very high. Playing decent opposition is great for honing your skills and also good for us to get our team playing well with each other. In a shortened 35 minutes (each way) game we triumphed a very impressive 4-1. I was very surprised that we managed to win so convincingly and gets us ready for Sundays next tournament match.

Picture of the Day

Rain Drops on a Banana Leaf

Google Search Trends

What tickles your fancy. What is the world searching for at the moment. Thanks to Googles Zeitgeist, a summary of current search trends we can dig below the face of the internet to see who are the recipients of cyberspaces intent.

Popular Sports Queries - August 2005

1.real madrid


Music-Related Queries - August 2005

2.my chemical romance
4.mariah carey
5.green day


Popular Celebrities - August 2005

2.jessica simpson
3.pamela anderson
4.paris hilton
5.jessica alba


Travel-Related Queries - August 2005

4.southwest airlines
5.american airlines


Top 15 gaining searches up to October 3rd 2005

1.giant squid
3.harriet miers
4.jessica alba
5.tom delay
6.anna nicole smith
7.dane cook
8.boston red sox
9.jennifer garner
10.halloween wallpaper

My Yahoo users

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Streaming Radio Online

Life at the Belize Jungle Dome can get very quiet sometimes. But the wonders of modern technology mean we can stream live radio through our Internet connection and get all nostalgic. Right now we have Virgin Radio playing. You can also listen live to all the BBC Radio channels with XFM another good streaming option.

Belize Jungle Dome Adventure Vacations

Belize Image Gallery

More Bush Bashing

Looks like Sky News in England hit the nail on the head.

Click for more Great Bush Jokes

Last 10 Escribbler Posts


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