Monday, December 14, 2009

New Skip Hunt Vagabond: MEXICO 2009 Book Available NOW!

Oh man! I am SOOOOO happy with out great this book printed! As many of you know, I tend to go for the most saturated and rich coloring in my images… which is not always easy to transfer in print. Well, I’m please to report that the printing is absolutely beautiful! The images just leap off the page.

I bought the soft cover for myself, but I think I would prefer the hard cover on my next ordering. I actually lowered the price on my hard cover options to encourage that choice over the soft cover option, but it looks pretty sweet too.

Likely, I’m biased ;-) but I’m confident this would make an amazing Holiday gift for yourself or anyone you think would like to take an amazing journey on a motorcycle through Mexico. Think about it, 70+ images and the best of the best journal entries all in one book!

The deadline for ground shipping to get your Skip Hunt Vagabond: MEXICO 2009 book in time for holiday delivery is Dec. 10th.

Order yours today!

Click HERE for preview and ordering

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Interview!

Did an interview for (evidently a popular destination for interior designers, and such!) If interested, click HERE

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

On the Road Again... Soon!

Getting excited now! Got my new front tire yesterday, and a new chain, new back tire, and new front fork seals a month ago.

Now dealing with the last few days of anxiety about going... always get that for some reason... then after I'm finally "on the road"... anxiety melts away into sublime vagabond Nirvana. Ahhhhhh!!!!

I shot mostly black & white on my last Mexican adventure, but I think I'm going to get back to HOT vivid color (like the Xochimilco image on my first post. Here's one of the b/w images from the last adventure:

NEW! Skip Hunt Vagabond Travelblog here:

Stay Tuned!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Skip Hunt's Mexico: Artist Reception May 9th 7-9PM

Stop by and check out the fresh photography by Skip Hunt at House Wine!

This collection is from my recent motorcycle journey in Jan/Feb of 2009. I was reading Edward Weston's Mexico: Daybooks on the trip and decided to shoot mostly black and white. Digital yes, but set as b/w and not raw... so there would ONLY be black/white versions. It was an interesting exercise for me and am quite happy with the results!

These images were made while touring in Mexico ~ Jan/Feb of 2009. And take the viewer into a part of Mexico most never see. Because most of the images were focused more on the literal, and traditional... I thought it'd be interesting to have half the show be the opposite but still Mexico. The other half is all abstract, and textural in brilliant color. There will be reception drink specials, hor'deurves, the photography of Skip Hunt, and live music by Paul Finley!

So come on out and join us for some fun, art, music, and vino! Here's the collection many of these images were taken from:

Interview with Skip Hunt for RedBubble:
Interview with Skip Hunt for 1stAngel:

Hope you can all make it! Disfruta!!!

Skip Hunt Austin, Texas

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Skip Hunt - Interview With The Photographer | 1stAngel & Friends

Skip Hunt - Interview With The Photographer | 1stAngel & Friends

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Monday Member News: Skip Hunt RedBubble’s Man of March

Monday Member News: Skip Hunt RedBubble’s Man of March

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Skip Hunt's Mexico: "Colores"

Motorcycle Tour Jan/Feb 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blanco y Negro

Mexico Jan-Feb 2009 by Skip Hunt

Friday, January 02, 2009

I wish I may... I wish I might...

Skip Hunt :: Visual Artist

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Skip Hunt :: Visual Artist

Video of Skip Hunt Photography

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Skip Hunt Photography ~ Guatemala 2008

Just finished editing my fresh snapz from a recent trip to Guatemala in October.


Skip Hunt Photography ~ Guatemala 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Slide Show

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Texas Renn Fest 2

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Texas Rennaisance Festival

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Friday, October 17, 2008

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Exhibition: The Unique Perspectives of Skip Hunt [Photography]

On exhibition for the first time, the Unique Perspectives of Skip Hunt: Photography.

Drogos do Brazil ~ Austin, Texas ~ 2nd and San Jacinto ~ MARCH 1-31 ~ Opening March 7th, 7pm till 9pm

Show Announcement

Skip Hunt is a photographer who lives in Austin, Texas. Well, I mean that’s his residence, but his mind, his heart and his camera are always traveling to find and catch exotic places and then share his feelings with the lucky people that can see his images, so incredibly wrapped up in a unique atmosphere that lets you feel and taste colours and light, but also – as if in a magical ether – the sounds, the flavours (mostly spicy ones), scents and vibrations.

Each Skip Hunt photograph is the synthesis of a life experienced, it is not just the reporter’s curiosity – that often dominates in photography today, linked to an event or a precise narration – but the willingness to walk next to the subjects of the photos through their worlds and let us live the feelings he absorbs and perceives. For a second, for a minute… or for all the necessary time. Have a grand journey through the photos of these emotions and feelings reported, look at his gallery and sink into one of his wonderful worlds. You likely won’t want to leave…

Artist Website

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Got a new book forsale!

Portfolio: Volume One
By Skip Hunt

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My New Photo Site

Check out my new photo site here:

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Photo Gallery of Orizaba, Mexico

The link above is to a little online photo gallery from Orizaba, Mexico. You'll need your monitor res settings at at least 1024x768. If you're using a smallish monitor, or have your screen resolution set low and can't see the bottom thumbnails when vertical images are displayed, just use the little control panel on the page to the bottom right-hand side to navigate the gallery or hit the little play button to start an automatic slide show. Disfruta!

ps. next gallery presentation coming after a few more miles down the road and likely Puebla.

(The following link is from an ongoing live travel
journal as I head into Mexico on a dual-sport Kawasaki
KLR650 with the Panasonic LX1 as my only image capture
device to explore the East Coast of Mexico. If you
would like to read the entire installment, go to and
read the most recent blog entry. This blog started
last Summer as I traveled the interior of Mexico and
the Baja. It's complete with photos, photo galleries,
and now LX1 video clips. If you would like to get an
automatic email when the motorcycle blog is updated
with new content, there's a place on the right margin
of the blog that allows you to subscribe for updates
for free!)

Photo Gallery of Alvarado to Catemaco, Mexico

The link above is to a little online photo gallery from Alvarado to Catemaco, Mexico. You'll need your monitor res settings at at least 1024x768. If you're using a smallish monitor, or have your screen resolution set low and can't see the bottom thumbnails when vertical images are displayed, just use the little control panel on the page to the bottom right-hand side to navigate the gallery or hit the little play button to start an automatic slide show. Disfruta!

ps. next gallery presentation coming after a few more miles down the road and likely Orizaba.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Skip's Mexican Motorcycle Odyssey Part II

(The following is from an ongoing live travel journal as I head into Mexico on a dual-sport Kawasaki KLR650 with the Panasonic LX1 as my only image capture device to explore the East Coast of Mexico. If you would like to read the entire installment, go to and read the most recent blog entry. The entire blog started last Summer as I traveled the interior of Mexico and the Baja. It's complete with photos, photo galleries, and now LX1 video clips. If you would like to get an automatic email when the motorcycle blog is updated with new content, there's a place on the right margin of the blog that allows you to subscribe for updates for free!)

Mexico ~ January 12-17, 2006

I don't know why it always takes be several hours to get ready and pack for one of these trips. It's always check, re-check, tighten all the bolts twice, etc. I mean, it's not like I'm going off into the void or anything. You can always find just about anything you need in countries like Mexico (except decent chain lube). But, at 2AM I was finally convinced there was no more packing and rechecking to be done.

Naturally, I didn't get on the road as early as I'd hoped. There was the last minute drop off at the post office that ended up taking an extra hour, etc. But soon I was blazing down the highway South.

The weather was a bit ominous which didn't help my launch jitters. It was overcast, grey, windy, and a bit of chill in the air. As I neared the border there was a huge fire to my right that sent a blackened-grey smoke cloud up into the already ashen sky. The smoke pillar's torso seemed to glow a dirty yellowish brown and I tried not to look at it. It sort of made me uneasy for some reason.

Every border crossing I've encountered so far as been pretty straight forward with the signage. Such was not the case near Reynosa. I think there are several crossing points, but the one I happened to land at was called something like Fhatt I think. I really was skittish about crossing this time. Didn't know why, but I thought I might spend the night on the U.S. side and cross in the morning when I'd be fresh. Figured I'd pick a room close to the bridge so that I'd get up, grab a shower, and hit the Aduana with all my faculties.

I turned a couple streets and the next thing I knew was that I was inline for crossing. Oh well, no time like the present. It was already around 5PM so I thought maybe if it went smooth I'd try to ride past Reynosa and to the next town to get a room for the night. Such are the best laid plans. ;-)

There was a pretty long line to cross, but it did move pretty quick. In no time I was on the Mexican side trying to find the office for vehicle permits. You'd think it'd be right there on the other side of the bridge. There was a sign pointing left and I followed the already harried traffic until I saw a building that looked "official". A half hour later and many circles around the area, I still hadn't found it. Turns out it's only about 3 blocks away, but it's tucked behind some other buildings. Luckily someone pointed me in the right direction and again I was inline.

I should've remembered from the last trip all the hoops you have to jump through. After waiting in line for the permit, I was directed to another line for a new tourist Visa. This is where it really started to go down hill. After another wait in line, the official raised his eyebrows, counted days on his fingers, then rushed back to enter something in the computer. When he came back he told me my permit and visa had expired by six days. I explained that I knew this, and had been given instructions by both the Mexican Consulate in Austin, and Bancerito (or something like that) in Mexico City, that it was quite alright if I turned in the vehicle permit late instead of making two trips to the border. That's about when my stomach sunk as I realized he wasn't talking about the vehicle permit, but the tourist visa. He seemed pretty disgusted and said I hadn't even paid the $210 pesos for the original visa. I protested to no avail that I had paid the fee and he shook his head and said, "We know you're lying.. you have no stamp on your visa..." I again told him I paid but that the Laredo border officials must have neglected to stamp my form."........

(continue reading and see more photos, etc. from this trip in this blog ~

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cool travel camera Panasonic DMC-LX1

I've been looking for a little compact for motorcycle trips that give me a nice image, high res, is compact, and shoots 30fps video clips for future trips.

Since some have expressed interest in my photo gear I thought I'd share a few images from my latest discovery.

I've been testing this little Panasonic DMC-LX1 compact digital camera that I think might be my next travel cam.

I shot a few snaps a couple days ago here in Austin, Texas. Here's a few I shot this afternoon. Click the title link, or paste the following url into your browser to see more lovely samples from this digicam.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What do you want for Christmas?

Here's my list (in no particular order)

I'd like a REAL magic wand that really works, not one of those cheesy plastic ones from the magic store with glitter inside. I already tried one of those and it didn't work. :-(

A cool exotic bottle encrusted with rare gems and has a REAL genie in it (preferably female with nice boobies and a sweet booty) and 3 or 4 wishes that haven't been all used up yet... completely restriction-free wishes.. none of that "you can't wish for more wishes.." BS!

A REAL time machine that will not only let me travel into the past and future, but will let me jetison out into space, or to Africa, or even down the street to the convenience store. And, comes with a built in theft alarm, genuine leather seat with built-in bum massage, and some fuzzy dice to hang from the rear/front view mirror.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Jessica Simpson... I just don't get it.

Can somebody explain why Jessica Simpson is consistently in the media and plastered all over the web and in movies? Sure, she's attactive, but so are millions of other girls. Sure, she can carry a tune... but she's really nothing more than average if not a couple notches below that. So why is she covered so much?

Is it just great PR? Is she "servicing" some huge media mogul? Have we moved into an age where the content doesn't matter anymore as long as you've got a great PR person? Oh wait... I guess we have. How else can you explain Bush? ;-)

Oilagarchy! Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, Conoco

I know the collective "we" are basically stupid... but just how stupid do they really think we are? I mean really, we're supposed to swallow that the very congressmen who've been bought and paid for all the way up to the president are really going to hold oil companies accountable for gross price gouging? These guys polute our environment, drag us into wars to protect their "interests", etc. THEN they have the nerve to rake us over the coals too?

Did you see the photos of these oil men on CNN? What a dreadfull looking bunch of fatcat fascist pigs! Dick Cheney would fit nicely in a group shot of these criminals. Don't we or didn't we used to have laws against what these monsters practice?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Avian Flu or H5N1

Ok, warning... I have a VERY warped sense of humor. ;-) But I was just thinking this past weekend. Say, this Avian Flu or H5N1 sweeps the planet like they're telling us it might. And lets say that in order to absorb enough viral particles into your lungs you have to have clean, healthy, unobstructed lungs....

Now wouldn't it be ironic is the only survivors of this outbreak were the smokers? ;-)

Poor taste I know.. but if you're a smoker.. I'm betting I got a grin out of you!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Was it about prolonged reconstruction and war profitteering all along and not so much oil?

I didn't think it was ALL about the oil.. but I believe the Bush administration needed the support of the largest conglomerates who'd stand to gain from war, unstable fuel markets, destruction, and rebuilding.

Many of the potentially interested conglomerates also lay down the law on the general messaging we see via all media, so I think the oil was more of a fringe benefit to get support for the whole invasion package.

What I don't get is why the botched it all up? Most of these guys go all the way back to the Reagan era. And, they got plenty of practice in under Bush senior. Even had a trial run with "Desert Storm".

Do you really think they didn't know what they were doing before they got into it? So, if the answer is yes.. did they possibly botch it on purpose in order to have MANY years of destruction that WE are paying them to do via our taxes.. and then double charging us for the reconstruction of what we already paid them to destroy? Sounds like a pretty sweet racket to me. Maybe the "oil" argument is just a smokescreen for something even MORE sinsister.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sacred fire I-VI

For your pleasure: Sacred Fire I

enveloped in the sanctity of the truth...

...she met the venomous darkness face to face...

and wrapt the unspoken evil within her...

sacred fire.


For your pleasure: Sacred Fire II

...honey drip down and suckle my soul... take me into your fiery fold...

...and mould my stony pain...

...into your liquid ecstasy.


For your pleasure: Sacred Fire III

~it tingled at first... a curious twinge before the pain... and then the burn felt slick and cold... then thickened into something I hadn't quite bargained for.

I writhed for a bit until I couldn't take it any more. Her secrets would have to remain unknown for now. I was weak...

Almost free from her torrid grip, and back into the icy night... she thrust her searing arm toward mine.

I wanted to save myself, but was seduced by her enchanting ardor~


For your pleasure: Sacred Fire IV

~the struggle had long since subsided... when I found myself entwined... slippy and falling... rising... floating within her fervid touch.

Shifted from material to passionate blaze... I felt the moment when I became we... and, I never missed losing my self...

I only wanted us to be forever burning eternally as one~


For your pleasure: Sacred Fire V

~as we danced her velvet sweltering flushed me so...

I forgot about my self, soul, and sanity...

Her searing beguilement became my loving mantra~


~pulled back and floated stunned in the charcoal void... intoxicated by the stench of fuel and infatuation.

Where was I? And where had I been?

The residual flame licked and tickled my lascivious longing until I drifted back into the wood to love her from afar~

(this image completes my 6 part series "Sacred Fire". Sacred Fire images I-V were all taken from this one image)


Where have the birds gone? Avian Flu? or Paranoid?

Call me paranoid... but I live in Austin, Texas. We really don't get much of a Winter except a few weeks around 40-50F with an occassional drop to freezing. At my house we get LOADS of birds year round. If I forget to pull my car in the garage it gets covered in bird shit. In our backyard we have several birdfeeders that we keep full most of the time. Squirrels grab the best stuff, but the birds hold their own.

Well, what's strange is... I haven't seen a bird in weeks. Feeders are full. I've left my car outside of the garage a few times.. no birdshit. Where did they all go?

I know birds fly South and all.. but I could've sworn this time last year we had tons of birds.

Global warming and the birds haven't left the North yet? They're scared of our cat? Avian Flu got'em?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Brilliant Blue Sky

Flipped on the light in my swanky $8 a night room and waited a few seconds for all the cockroaches to seek new refuge (most likely within my backpack). Showered, packed my mochilla, stowed my pack and computer at the hotel desk, and headed out to the metro to get some video shots of chilangos being over-stuffed into metro cars for their daily pilgrimage to work. Got some great shots of human sardines until I was told I needed a permit to make a movie in the metro. Already had my shot so I just excused myself and off I went.

Went to exchange an expensive camera filter for another that was 300 pesos cheaper and the one I really needed. I'd been told I could swap it out for the right one if I returned it within a couple days. Soon I was greeted by an harsh Senora who wasn't about to let a single pesito leave the shop. I explained I was promised I could exchange or return for my money back by the young fella standing next to her. He naturally denied any such conversation. After the cordial approach failed, I decided to give my weak Spanish a real test and began to start making demands, etc. Especially since the Senora (if you could call her that) seemed to be taking such pleasure with my mounting anger. Next thing I know, there's and armed guard gripping my arm. As my temper rose, my efficiency with Spanish quickly declined... much to the amusement of the shop's staff and patrons. I decided it was all futile and that they'd already robbed me of a good hour. So, I snatched my over-priced merchandise, stuft it into my bag, and for my own satifaction, ripped into them in ingles (knowing of course they didn't speak a word) and stormed out like a good American. ;-)

Still pretty steamed, I stomped down the avenue rounding corners at random until I happened upon the park near the Palacio Bellas Artes. Grabbed a bench, lit a smoke and tried to put the incident out of my head. A Mexican fellow, out for a stroll in the park looked my way. I acknowledged him with a nod, and the next thing I knew he was parked beside me. Went through the usual small talk questions, then asked which hotel I stayed in. I told him, but he wasn't familiar with it. I said its only 4 or 5 blocks away. Then his hand was on my leg and started to caress it as he suggested we take a walk to my hotel for a complimentary suck. Ok, now the photo shop incident was nearly forgotten history at this point! I explained, although flattered, I certainly wasn't interested and after a good hour, I'd managed to give'm the shake.

Back to my aimless wandering until I found an interesting exhibit near the National Museo with all sorts of devices used for human torchure during the inquisition. Gruesome stuff, but I ashamedly imagined a few being used on the evil photo shop lady.

On to more rambling. I found a cine a few blocks from the Bellas Artes that was showing a John Malkovich flick called "El Amigo Americano" I think its called "Ripley's Game" in English and the ticket price was only half what the big Cinemex theaters charge. It's started to rain pretty heavy so my mind was set to wait it out in the theater. I asked the doorman which theater gallery it was showing in, but he didn't seem to have a clue. Neither did the concessions woman. I thought that was kinda odd. But after a bit of exploration, I found the correct gallery.

The film started abrubtly without trailers, and they didn't turn the lights all the way down for the entire film. Only low, bluish lighting. On top of that, the projection and sound were terrible, but with the Spanish subtitles I was able to peice together most of the dialogue. Great flick by the way.

Anyway, a half and hour or so into the feature I noticed the huge ancient theater was only populated with male patrons. And, most of them seemed to keep getting up and wondering around the theater paying absolutely no attention to the film. It was when one of the gentlemen stopped briefly in front of me and stared that I began to get a clue. At first I thought, "now surely a gringo in a theater isn't such an odd occurance, that a local would be driven to stare....." Then I remembered my amorous buddy from the park nearby and it all came together. Strange they'd pick a newly released, Italian directed, Malkovich film to use as a gay cruising film, but not much else surprises me in Mexico, so why not? Film ended. No credits. And, the patrons seemed to all mill about waiting for another film to start. I made my way for the exit.

It was getting late and after a stroll around the Zocalo, decided to make for the hotel, grab my gear, and get an early start through the metro maze to the bus station. A block or so from my hotel, I was stopped by a frantic gentleman who asked if I spoke Ingles. I told him I did, and he explained that he'd been robbed by a taxi driver. He'd been using the same driver for a couple days and was paying him well. The fellow decided to see some of the sites before heading back to New York, when the taxi driver left him taking his laptop, jacket containing his passport and wallet, etc. He asked if I spoke Spanish and if I could ask the operator for the number to American Airlines. I still had a little time on my hands and agreed to help.

I passed on the number to him, and he alledgedly was told that if he paid cash for his ticket, they could look up his reservation and let him on the plane. He was told if he paid by credit card, they'd need the passport for the holder of the card and the person flying, etc. After a call to his wife, he asked if he could have her Western Union money to me since I had identification. Hesitant, I obliged. Off we went into a passing taxi. We had some conversation in the taxi and he explained that he was a tax attorney for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and that he had to be in court the next day. He offered to put me up in a nice hotel on his corporate expense account, but I declined.

When we arrived at the Western Union office, it was closed. The taxi driver said no charge, and that he just wanted to do his part for tourism... or something like that. That should have been my first clue, because a free ride in a Mexico City taxi is a mighty rare event. He made another call to his wife, and I pretty much knew what was coming next. No I.D. No way to get cash at 11PM at night, and a flight leaving in an hour and a half. At this point, I'd missed my window of opportunity to get my gear and make it to the bus station, so I was stuck in Mexico City for another night.

Now I'm not the kind, trusting, good samaritan type. If anything, I'm rather wary and pesimistic. But for some loco reason, I decided to trust this complete stranger. A man I met on a late night avenue in Mexico City, claiming to be a Jewish tax attorney for New York in dire need. He said the money would be transferred into my account the following day and left me his info. I was only able to get $250 in pesos from the ATM, but I had an additional $260 in dollars. I handed over the $510 (he had said for $500 he could get to Dallas since I couldn' get the $800 he needed for a last minute flight to New York. From there he could have his wife buy the connecting flight and he wouldn't have to deal with all the immigration hassles.)

It all sounded fishy, but the guy was wearing a pressed monogrammed linen shirt, nice business slacks, and fine Italian shoes. For some insane reason I decided to go completely against my nature and trust a fellow human being, a stranger I passed in the night with no identification and apparent need. Off he went in a taxi for the airport, and I made my way back to the hotel for a fresh room. Hoping perhaps to get one with at least a few less cockroaches. I finally drifted off to sleep replaying the event over and over... unfortunately finding too many inconsistencies to be legit. For instance, he was able to give the taxi driver an address for the Western Union, but not able to get a phone number for American Airlines? When the taxi driver said the short ride was gratis, he insisted on paying. He asked how much, and the taxi driver answered in Spanish "Cincuenta!". He replied "No. Treinta". This is all coming from a man who claimed to not speak Spanish well enough to get a simple phone number from information. I began to feel sick, foolish, and $510 poorer.

Here I sit the following day. I checked the address he gave me for his office at PriceWaterhouse and it doesn't match the addresses listed for New York on the PWC website. I haven't recieved the confirmation email he promised to send. He also told me his picture could be found on the PWC website, but no picture exhists. The whole scam seemed so complex and unlikely that I felt trusting the guy was worth the gamble. And, I wanted to see how it felt to completely give in the blind trust, and help someone out. Now I find it feels a little sickening.

I sent a test email to the address he gave me and it hasn't been kicked back yet, but I don't have high hopes. So, off I go for another interesting day in Mexico City until its time to catch the night bus again. Hopefully, today will be a little more profitable than yesterday......

Got stuck in the bone-dry puebla of Estacion Catorce 8km short of my destination, Wadley. I baked for 2hrs waiting for another bus to carry me the last leg, but kept myself occupied watching two older campesinos install a new metal door into an adobe entryway that was about an inch too narrow.
At last a rusty 3rd class Bluebird arrived in a cloud of dry dust. No too many passengers except a dusty dread-coiffed couple. The young fella looked as if he might be Mexican, but his companion was Japanese. I generally avoid these types because they're fairly cliquish if you don't sport the same rasta uniform. And, they tend to attract the policia.
We arrived in Wadley and the rasta-boy asked me in English, "Is this Wadley?". Couldn't make out the accent, but it sounded Israeli. I confirmed, and said, "See ya 'round... It's a small place.", then bolted for the hacienda of Don Tomas. The camp compound was deserted so Don Tomas helped me remove some piles of metal rod and wood planks that had taken up residence in my preferred larger tin-roofed cinder block room since my last visit. As always, he re-reminded me not to carry peyote into the town and to keep it out of the camp. He advised to just eat it in the desert and you'll have no problems. In the last ten years I'd rarely seen la policia, nor encountered anyone who'd been busted in the desert, but the 3rd party stories were always rampant so I usually heeded the advice. Off I went into the desert, called Wirikuta by the Huichol, to get my first vomit laden "break-in" trip over with. After the first peyote induced bout with severe abdominal distress, I tend to acclimate and can avoid the whole ugly digestive mess on subsequent journeys.
I started out heavier than I should've. Ten plants, but I paid dearly. I won't trouble you with the details, but the ill portion of the excursion lasted 3hrs. After paying my dues, the rest of the evening was quite pleasant. Mescalito finally gave me a break and I was able to drift off into Technicolor dreamland.
The next morning, after I'd stocked up on fresh goat cheese, tomatoes, tortillas, and water the young hippy couple stopped by the compound. They'd also taken a room from Don Tomas, but he'd put them up in the camp closer to the railroad track. A less desirable locale since the train passing feels like a mechanized earth quake every hour or so, but you get used to it.
The introduced themselves and we made a bit of comparative travel small talk. After I realized these were the new arrivals that earlier Don Tomas was asking me if I'd indoctrinate in the harvesting and dining of peyote, I asked if they'd be ready to head off in an hour or so. They seemed nervously thrilled to have an English speaker run them through the ropes as they didn't speak a word of Espanol. We all parted to pack the essentials, ie. a few oranges to choke the plants down, a good knife, water, smokes, etc.

I was a little apprehensive about volunteering to hang with a couple of dread-headed neo flower children, but I'd recently misjudged the character of one alleged American attorney in D.F., so I figured I'd give these two a chance. As the afternoon blazed, and after we'd all made it past the complimentary nausea hump, we built a nice fire and drifted through loose conversational threads as we gazed at occasional stars shooting down from the milky way. I told stories, that looped back into other stories, and they shared as well. Turns out the young fella had spent his 3 years in the Israeli army, had to do a bit of fighting except he said it wasn't much of a fight, "They had rocks, we had guns." The memory seemed to weigh heavy on him and I asked if he'd ever had to kill anyone. I could actually feel the pain in his eyes, and it hurt me to know such a gentle character had to endure such a horrible experience. He said he thought he probably had, but he couldn't be sure. I changed the subject as much for his benefit as mine.
It was a beautiful night and I was sad when they had to move on. I'll miss them, but will look forward to catching up to them one day in India where they now make their home in between trips to Japan to sell handicrafts and jewelry.

Like a changing of guard, a young French fellow arrived as the rasta couple departed. He'd stayed in the compound just three months prior and came heavily equipped for a four month stay. As I was reading the lovely letter, complete with little smiley hearts and such that†my friends had left, the new arrival popped his head into my cuarto to introduce himself. As we quickly went through all the usual introductory small talk, sizing each other up to see if the conversation would go any further than general identification, we mosied to the little compound concina to make some Nescafe. Vincente pulled out the sections of a long three-piece bamboo Indian pipe with a little terracotta bowl in the end. He loaded it with some bright-green powdered ganja he'd cultivated himself in Southern France. Several hours later, and many looped and cross referenced stories, I had a new desierto pal.

Because Vincente had recently spent a good of time in the desert I asked him if he'd heard of Peyote Brujo. I'd identified the plant a year ago and knew that it was only for Huichol shamans, but I didn't know if you ate it or smoked it. He knew of Peyote Brujo, and knew that it was smoked by Huichol shamans and that it was "too much from the dark side for him..." I also discovered that the Huichol consider it evil and won't touch it. However, I also discovered that the Tarahumara Indians eat the plant and don't consider it evil. I'd tried eating it a year prior, but was so nervous that I evidently didn't get a sufficient dose. I tried smoking a few†bits of the spiney triangular plant†and liked the smoke and fragrance, but got very little effect.†Although,†my imagination did produce some rather sinister looking androgenous brujos†grinning and snickering at me.†Apparently, you have to†dry the†bits until you can make a powder and then smoke much larger quantities. So I tore off all the triangles and began the drying process.

Later that evening, we were joined my Mauricio, a silversmith Mexican from D.F. who†makes him home in the desert several months of the year. Over Nescafe, Vincente passed the peace pipe around the table and our converstations wondered from Astronomy, to desert legend, to politics, and back to Astronomy with a few U.F.O.'s thrown in. Vincente had invited me to join him out into a part of the desert I hadn't harvested before that was supposed to be sacred. I'd passed by the locale the year prior†and knew there was a small grove of Mesquite trees with cool bed soft green grass underneath†nearby where we could get some protection from el Sol.

The following morning we each packed provisions for the afternoon and I†stuffed a plastic bag†my drying Peyote Brujo. I figured it'd be a good while before it was dry enough to make powder and since Don Tomas had warned me about bringing plants into the camp, I figurred I'd just hide it in my pack before I set out, and left it on a small table by my bed.

The walk wasn't too difficult and we were there in less than two hours. We rested in the small mesquite grove and Vincente, a cultivator of not only ganja but various cacti species, found a rare specimen to photograph. When he joined me in the grass he showed be a dried horny toad lizard he'd found that had sacreficed its lower section to some desert creature and had a comical grimace petrified into its face. I'd asked him if he'd ever read Carlos Castaneda and reminded him about the part where Carlos is instructed to eat peyote and sew the lips of a lizard together. Vincente's eyes lit up as he remembered and he took his find as some sort of sign. After a refreshing agua refueling, we departed the cool grass for the blazing desert broiler and set out for the afternoon harvest. As we scoured the desert floor I told Vincente that about another hour or so from the sacred area, there's a pyramid shaped mound covered in dark green vegetation and black meteor stone called something like "Vernalejo." I mentioned that I'd heard this location was known to the Huichol as the birthplace of peyote and that it is the location where an ancient meteorite had crashed. He'd heard the same and we agreed the implications were fascinating to say the least. This launched us off into a dialogue about Man's origins until we spotted the first plants.

The first plants were small and with all the preparation involved, I usually try to find plants at least 3-4 inches in diameter to save time cleaning. Or, if I'm concentrating intensively enough, one that "speaks" to me. Suddenly, I spotted the most enormous peyote plant I'd ever seen. Wider than my hand with all my fingers spread and my search was over. Vincente seemed pleased, but a bit envious as if this plant were really meant for him. I had a little trepidation with what sort of trip a plant this size would bring, but I was game as soon as I sliced into the plant's edge and he oozed bright-green sangre. Soon Vincente found an acceptable specimen and after covering the amputee with soil, he lit a sacrificial vela atop the mound and burnt copal incense as an offering. I shouted to Vincente that I'd found a huge family of peyote plants, each flowering. I figured with Vincente being the cacti aficionado and all, he might want a photo. And surely, his eyes lit up as he began capturing digital images. We'd agreed the small mesquite grove would make a nice place to prepare the plants and lay in the cool grass as we gave ourselves unto Mescalito. Vincente mentioned he'd met an Argentinean girl in the puebla who invited him to join her band mates to camp in the desierto. He asked if I wanted to join, but I was content to go it alone. Actually, I just wanted to sleep in a firm bed instead of atop a bed of rocks, but I told him it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he took off without me.

My plant was so huge that I decided to cut it up into smaller, thick potato chip sized pieces in order to get it down a little easier. Vincente had already finished his plant before I'd finished cutting all the hairy white spines around the edges out of the center of mine. I've been told this portion contains strychnine and naturally wanted to get every bit of it out, but the massive size of my plant through me off somewhat regarding how much of the white part to cut away.

Vincente climbed one of the Mesquites and perched above me as I choked down most of mine, but left three large slices remaining. I just couldn't eat another bite of this extraordinarily more bitter than usual specimen. Usually, the queasiness doesn't hit me for at least three hours or so, but this plant had me reeling within fifteen minutes. I grabbed my abdomen and winced with pain. Vincente commented that I didn't look so hot, but said he decided he wanted to try and hook up with the Argentineans. I waved him on and said I'd rather endure the pain and vomiting alone. I assured him I'd be fine and that I'd catch up with him later. Three hours later, I was still doubled over in pain, rolling in the once heavenly cool grass, and wanting nothing more than this plant OUT of my body. I tried spinning myself around several times to help induce expulsion, and even tried jamming my soiled fingers down my throat. Nothing worked and it felt like I was digesting broken glass. I began to get very concerned that once Mescalito was finished with me, I'd be expelling chunks of cactus mixed with a heavy flow of blood.

The hour was getting late and since I knew the moon wasn't rising until after midnight I decided to try and drag myself down the long sandy path back to the puebla. I made the compound just as the sun was setting and found Vincente sitting in the cocina with Mauricio passing the pipe. Apparently, the Argentineans had smoked too much ganja and decided to scrap their sojourn into the desert night. Vincente had already told Mauricio about the gargantuan plant I'd imbibed and I let him know that I'd been in severe pain ever since he'd left, but it was finally starting to subside and I was finally starting to feel the mescaline. Mauricio added that within an hour or two my head was really going to take flight. I refused the pasta and ganja Vincente offered and went to my quarto to put on some music, light some velas, †and lay down while Mescalito took me away.

I don't know if I hadn't cut enough of the strychnine away, or if I'd become too careless with my respect for Mescalito, but the pain was finally gone and I was "off".

The next morning, I remembered I still had the three chunks left in a plastic bag with an orange. I figured I'd eat it as I was harvesting a few plants to take with me the following day for a couple friends I'd meet along the way. I threw a fresh bottle of water in my day pack, along with my harvesting knife, orange and left over peyote chunks and told Vincente I was off to gather a few plants for my journey. He said he may take the bike he'd purchased for his long stay for a spin and join me to look for meteorites and arrow heads. I told him where I'd be, but was going to grab a Coke at the tienda before heading out.

There'd been three young Mexican guys from D.F. who'd parked their new Renault car in the compound while they went off into the desert for a couple of days hiking. Evidently, they were really harvesting large quantities of peyote plants to drive up to Real de Catorce with hopes of selling it off to other backpackers. One of them had just made it back to the compound as I left for the tienda. He looked appropriately dusty and well lit up and was drinking a guava juice while he waited for his compadres to catch up.

I had to pass back by the compound on my way into the desierto. From a distance I noticed what appeared to be a small crowd gathering around the entrance of my cuarto and compound. When I got closer, I realized there was a white policia truck parked outside and three burly policias standing by. Two of the young Mexicans from D.F. were handcuffed and the third was still being searched. The compadres had been picked up along the road smoking a joint when the policia searched their peyote laden packs. My stomach sank and I remembered the bag of forbidden drying peyote brujo I'd left on the table next to my bed. I tried not to panic and casually sauntered into my room.

One of the policia asked where I was from. I answered Americano and he reached for my day pack and demanded my passport. I explained it was in my cuarto and in the seconds before I was followed into my room, I stashed the bag of peyote brujo (witch) between some old wool blanket piled atop a rusty rollaway bed in the corner of my room. Before the head policia could get the third Mexican handcuffed and follow me into the cuarto, I'd already pulled out my passport. He searched every inch of my room, under the mattress, all bags, etc. while I calmly explained I was working on a movie script. He accused me of hiding mota (ganja) and eating peyote. I explained that I didn't "smoke" nor use peyote. Then he saw a small tuft of the hairy white center peyote spines laying on the floor. His eyes widened as he pointed and the white tuft on the floor. I acted as if I didn't know what he was talking about, and said the room was pretty dirty when I moved in.

After he spotted my laptop, camera gear, and tripod he started to lighten up a little and motioned for me to go back out to the policia truck while he documented my passport. The first policia was still searching my day pack when I remembered the three large chunks of peyote still in the plastic bag with an orange. Again, my stomach sank and I motioned to the policia to make sure he checks the hidden bottom compartment as well. Anything to divert his attention from the compartment containing what would surely buy me a free truck ride to the Real de Catorce jail house. First pulled out my harvesting knife and placed the open blade across his palm as he eyed me. I thought I was busted until Vincente, standing by with his bicycle, told me that the blade was over the acceptable length. I relaxed slightly until he pulled out the orange plastic bag containing the "evidence" and and orange. For some reason, he wadded it back up and threw it back into my pack and proceeded to zip everything back up. I couldn't believe it! After confirming he'd indeed finished his search, I offered the chief one of my new business cards for which has a small icon of a movie reel on it to further support my alibi. The chief was very pleased and wanted to know when production of the movie would start and let me know that if I needed any assistance with the film he'd be at my service.

Soon the policia truck was pulling away with two of the very saddened perps in back. The third followed in the shiny new Renault accompanied by the chief on their way up to Real de Catorce for what was surely going to be a very rough night.

Vincente and I were both trembling and elated with our near collision with Mexico's finest. He showed me where he'd stashed two large bags of mota and his pipe. He said that maybe it was a sign that my plan to carry plants with me to friends might not be such a good idea. I said, "On the contrary. The policia will be tied up with the Mexicans for the next couple of days and won't be around for awhile. They'd make a nice take from these obviously wealthy Chavos and we were in the clear for awhile." I'd told him about my unfortunate experience with a Mexico City scam artist and added, "looks like my luck is turning around! I thought a few seconds whether or not the harvest would be worth the risk, ate my leftover peyote chunks, and headed out for a final harvest.

Before the sun rose the following morning, I'd packed my bag with the contraband stashed inside a bag of soiled clothing, and caught a couple hours sleep before heading off for Zacatecas. I'd been told a shorter route via San Tiburcio and that the usual seven hour trip could be done in four hours. Once the bus had left the Huiricuta area, I figured I could chill out a bit from my natural paranoia. The bus pulled into a bus depot at a "T" that is the highway running between Zacatecas and Monterrey. After the bus driver took lunch, the crowded bus pulled away leaving only myself and an older Huichol Indian man waiting outside the depot of San Tiburcio. The only evidence of any town at all was this small bus station and a truck stop on the other side of the highway. The Huichol and I had been assured the connecting bus to Zacatecas would be by in about a half an hour. The stern-faced Huichol staked out a spot of shade near a power pole and stared out into the desert. Over the next hour or so, we both paced about in the white hot afternoon, checked our watches, and tried to dodge the frequent dirt devils that'd whirl into us covering us and filling our exposed orifices with in dusty desert soil.

Another hour passed. We'd both been kind of avoiding eye contact although I really wanted to chat with a real Huichol who was most likely returning from his annual peyote pilgrimage. I finally tried to break the ice with a cigarette offer, but he said he didn't smoke. I replied, "Good! They tell me their really bad for you." I noticed the deep lines around his eyes as he squinted hard from the afternoon blaze. I remembered I had an extra pair of terminator style, brushed metal sunglasses and offered them to him as a gift. He gladly accepted my offering and put them on. I tried to contain my amusement with the site of an old Huichol man in full traditional Huichol costume sporting wrap-around terminator sunglasses.

Finally, he began to make some small talk and his stern face soon softened. In the midst of our conversation, a Mexican tourist traveling with his family in a suburban walked over to introduce himself to the shamanic looking Huichol. After a brief greeting, he held out a handful of small packets containing chicle gum and offered some to the Huichol. He then looked at me, hesitated, then put the rest of the packets in his pocket and drove off. As I guarded my eyes from the cloud of dust the suburban left behind, I looked over to the Huichol who was about to pop the last chicle into his mouth. I said, "Humph! No chicle for Gringos..." The Huichol hesitated, thought about offering me his last chicle, then popped it into his mouth and let out a huge laugh as his stoney face broke into a smile almost as bright as the desert sun suspended in the brilliant blue sky.  

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Didn't anyone else see this coming?

I haven't read this anywhere, and I don't follow politics as much as I should... but, doesn't it look like the Mier's offering was intended as a sacrifice to get all the opposition to dump their firey payload on her, then she'd conveniently withdraw and the neo-cons would offer up Alito whom they really wanted to begin with?

The figured with support low for Bush they wouldn't be able to get an Alito nomination to sail through.. so they offer up someone ridiculous, overtake the media with opposition, then when all the opposition is exhausted, offer up their "real" choice?

Seems like their plan worked beautifully... hell, it might have even been Miers' idea.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Exxon Profits WAAAAAY up...

Can someone please explain to me why the war in Iraq has nothing to do with oil... when ALL of the oil companies are enjoying HUGE profits... the military camps during the invasion of Iraq were each named after different U.S. oil companies... and the most of the Bush regime came from the oil sector... and some of the closest pals of the Bush family are Saudi oil men?

I guess I'm just an ignorant liberal weenie who's just a few eggs short of a crate... but for some reason none of the neo-"con" story has ever computed for me. Can someone please enlighten this poor wayward lib?

Oh! Above is a cellphone snap of the giant cup of coffee I drank this morning at Seatle's best. ;-)

Friday, October 21, 2005

What Dreams may Come

I watched this movie "What Dreams May Come" again the other night... caught it late at night, but I have the DVD. I know this movie didn't do all that swell. And that people seem to hate Robbins Williams doing anything other than comedy, but I really enjoyed it. I think most people just pigeon-hole actors and anytime they try to break out of their "place"... the general public just has a cow. They can't seem to adapt to change or experimentation. They just want things a certain way, and they don't want it to ever change. That's probably why the U.S. is in such a societal pickle right now.. but I digress.

About the movie, much of it takes place in Heaven and Hell. One of the points made in the movie is that in heaven you can litterally create whatever heaven you like... with paint, angels, flying dogs, etc. The film's design and cinematography is pretty outstanding too, but I think some didn't like the maudlin vibes reverberating throughout the story.

I've seen this film many times and enjoy it every time. But THIS time, it really hit home about how you can create your OWN heaven. And it got me thinking (ouch!)... you don't really have to die first to create your own heaven. You can create your own heaven right here on Earth everyday with just a change in attitude (barring any unforseen "acts of God" and all). :-)

You know.. seeing the Universe in a grain of sand.. and "the kingdom of Heaven is within you.." kind of stuff.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


The other day I was telling a friend of mine how surprised I was my fingerless, leather motorcycle gloves didn't really smell that bad. Just still smelled like leather to me. This is considering they've seen 15 thousand miles that included much of Mexico and the Baja. And, have been frequently soaked in sweat, taco juice, you name it.

I asked her to take a big sniff and she said agreed they didn't smell "bad"... just that they smelled like flesh, gasoline, "man sweat", and oil. Kinda made me wonder if these old beat up gloves could be a metaphor for something? Or, perhaps my old nose just don't work no more and I should consider giving up cigarettes. ;-)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

get off your computer! boost your bain-power

Here I sit on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Austin, Texas. I have a motorcycle and it's about 85F. So why am I sitting here updating my blog? Out of pure love for my audience of course. (an audience of 0 it seems) ;-)

Someone asked me why I was reading a book the "old fashioned" way and not on computer. I told them for some reason I just can't read long tomes via computer. For some reason the ol' synapse don't seem to connect as well as with a paper version. I wonder why that is? Possibly just learned behaviour, but I do notice my brain seems to kick into gear much better if I try to read the old school method for a half hour or so every day. I don't get the same effect when I read via computer.

Then I ran accross this article: Boost your brain power at work. It says being obsessed with text messaging, email, blogs, etc. actually drops your IQ a few points. More so than marajuanna! Go figure. So that's what my problem is. I guess I'll just have to put away this machine and go ride a "real" one for the afternoon.

The photo included is from a several week odyssey I took on a dual-sport motorcycle from Texas through Mexico, the entire Baja, Vegas, the Grand Canyon, New Mexico, etc. This particular photo I took almost at the bottom of the Baja in the desert near Todos Santos. If you're not up to getting out in the world at the moment and would rather read on-line, check out my "Skip's Mexican Motorcycle Blog". I haven't got it all up yet... and it's best if you start from the beginning.. but, I'm told it's a good read. ;-)

Friday, October 14, 2005


I've been angry... I fight with conservatives who don't seem to hold their leader accountable for anything... just flollow and support no matter what. I get angy with those liberals who actually do oppose such blatantly heinous acts by our current (corporate-controlled/fascist) government... because they can't seem to pick their battles very well... nor, can they provide much better alternatives in leadership. I get frustrated with the news media for now treating news as a commercial commodity and spinning whatever story the highest bidder wants spun. I used to get angry with people who just turn a blind eye and pretend everything's just fine if they don't see it... but.... at the end of the day.... I surrender. All I want to do is watch another sunset along the riverwalk in Sevilla.... Oh, and "buy the world a coke." ;-)

Sevilla, Spain

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Blinders, Routine, et. al.

Ok, now it seems after all the time spent traveling in Mexico on a motocycle... the vibe has waned. Now, I'm back in a "routine" again. Accept now it seems different. Now it almost seems more like a protective measure or defense mechanism against the "real world".

Is it just me, or does it feel like the general level of world-wide mahem is climbing a bit more? Isn't it starting to feel like everything's about to REALLY start to unravel and then a new plague (Avian Flu) is really going to knock the human race down a few pegs? I try to get lost in the banality of the "routine"... but every now an then I wake up and see a HUGE storm headed our way.

Maybe it's just too early and I haven't had my coffee yet. ;-) So, for now, here's a happy photo I shot in Calcutta, India to brighten your day. :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Guatemalan Tragedy at Lake Atitlan

So, I guess I've been watching too much news lately. I woke around 3AM and just couldn't go back to sleep. I started thinking about all those poor people in Guatemala that were just covered up by a volcanic mudslide.

Evidently the Guatemalan officials aren't even going to try and dig them out. They're just going to declare the area that used to be a quaint little town... a mass grave.

Now, you hear this sort of thing happening off and on.. but usually you can just let it pass over and go on with your life. But, I've been to these villages on at least three occasions and I can't get the images out of my head. Guess tragedy hits a bit harder if you have at least some personal connection with the place. But, if you don't.. it's sort of filed away in the abstract.

This is an image I shot at lake Atitlan during better days. I know the lake is surrounded by volcanoes so I'm not sure if the one in the background is the same one that gave way burying those people. It's such a lovely place... and a popular traveler destination. I hope the tourism doesn't disappear with the town. :-(

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fwd: From: 5124134951 Msg:It was a hoax. Are you surprised?


jeez luiz!!! I've kinda become quite obsessed with this blogging business. Does that happen to everyone? I wonder.

I also wonder if I'm this obsessed with it now with NO comments ;-)... how obsessed will I be if anyone actually starts reading them?

Well, off for a motorcycle ride... and maybe a little wine.

Just found a nice travel blog

Just found a cool travel blog that I might use as a model for future travel blogs. I'm wondering if the guy is just like me and doing it for the love of it.. or, if he get's paid to do this.

Oh how cool would it be if someone actually paid me to do what I love and do anyway?

  • World Scott Travel Writing
  • Monday, October 10, 2005

    Its uery odd to be blogging to myself. Like documenting someone talking to themself. But it does seem to make you feel somewhat less alone... even if your company is merely your "self". ;-)

    Just sitting having coffee wondering.

    Just keeping it fresh

    Well, I think I've been bit by the blog bug. Just discovered them Friday and now on Monday I have 3 blogs. ;-)

    A feeling has dawned on me recently. For years now, I have fought against Bush. I've railed against these fascists every chance I could get. I loathe to even see any of this cronies faces in the press... and dreamed of there ultimate "outing" as lying criminals.

    fI couldn't see how anyone could get behind these people and support them. Even the religious, evangelical types... how the hell could they support a "war president"? That was REALLY beyond me.

    But now that many of these folks are starting to catch on and realize what a monster they've been supporting... now that George's polls are falling and his support base crumbling... now that even many of his loyal pundits are cursing his name.... instead of happy, I kinda feel sad. Even more sad than having to swallow that some people supported a fascist. I'm more sad now because it doesn't really matter so much that these blind followers are finally waking up. The damage has been done. We're hated, trapped in a war, all the weathly have been payed up with record profits, companies like Halliburton will be busy for many years, everyone Bush sold us out for are happy and nothing will take that away from them.

    But all of us, regardless of whether or not any kind of impeachment takes place are still left holding the bag, the bill, and pain.

    They royally screwed over most of us, and appear that they and their wealthy pals will get away with it regardless.

    Saturday, October 08, 2005

    Text message from cell.

    not sure what direction to go with this...

    Ok, now I see I can post video, phoned-in audio, audio clips, emailed
    postings like this one, photos, or just browser-based test, etc.

    Now, should I just put EVERYTHING in this one blog? Or, should I
    create a blog for photography, and abstract audio blog, a video blog,
    another for a journal-type thing, a travel one, and maybe one that
    progresses like a book?

    Do you think it's better to break it up with each blog having links
    to the other blogs? Or, just dump it all into one blog?



    Friday, October 07, 2005

    Post from email

    Test to post via email.

    video test

    this is an audio post - click to play