Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Our Friends Who Moved to Los Barriles

Our friends Larry and Cheri have finally retired and moved into their house in Buena Vista. We dove up and accompanied them down the highway since it was their first time. They are thrilled to be here and have wasted no time getting involved in the community. Larry sings at the open mic at Roadrunner and has landed a part in the upcoming Shakespeare play.

Cheri is an artist and an art therapist. She quickly found willing art subjects in our cute little burros. I love her art and here are a few drawings she shared with me. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rescuing Deer from the Icy Waters of Alaska

This is a great story.  It has nothing at all to do with our little Pueblito except that Los Barriles is full of kind people who would have done the same thing as Tom Satre did in this story:

Tom Satre told the Sitka Gazette that he was out with a charter group on his 62-foot fishing vessel when four juvenile black-tailed deer swam directly toward his boat.

"Once the deer reached the boat, the four began to circle the boat, looking directly at us. We could tell right away that the young bucks were distressed.

I opened up my back gate and we helped the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals onto the boat. In all my years fishing, I've never seen anything quite like it!

Once onboard, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering."

“This is a picture I took of the rescued bucks on the back of my boat, the Alaska Quest. We headed for Taku Harbour.
Once we reached the dock, the first buck that we had been pulled from the water hopped onto the dock, looked back as if to say 'thank you' and disappeared into the forest.

After a bit of prodding and assistance, two more followed, but the smallest deer needed a little more help.

My daughter, Anna, and son, Tim, helped the last buck to its feet. We didn't know how long they had been in the icy waters or if there had been others who did not survive. 

My daughter later told me that the experience was something that she would never forget, and I suspect the deer felt the same way as well!"

I told you! Awesome... Huh?

"Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear."
- Mark Twain -

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


These little guys are about ready to fly. The nest is near my wife's restaurant, Roadrunner Cafe. Lots of car and foot traffic but neither mom nor kids seem upset by it.Our groundskeeper/maintenance man all-around-guy, Goyo, realized that the branch where the nest is built was dead.  So he carefully tied the bad branch up so that it wouldn't fall before the babies take flight.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Baja Road Conditions October 2012

We just returned from San Diego via Mex 1. The carretera just keeps getting better. There was very little construction and where there was, it was only for short distances. There are stretches of new pavement all the way down. The most impressive piece is the “Cuesta del Infierno” or "Hill From Hell" just North of Santa Rosalia. Feels like a whole different road. Wider, new lines and signs. Still make sure you have good brakes before traversing!

We cross at Tecate usually. Less traffic, reasonable inspectors. Plus we like driving through the wine country. Much of that road is new also.

We stayed at a different hotel this time in Santa Rosalia, the Tourist Hotel on the South end of town. (somehow our reservations at the Baja Cactus were lost...) Nice place. Less fancy but new and clean and secure.   Ate breakfast at Mama Espinosa's.

Since we were pulling a trailer and our pickup was loaded, we took 3 days to get home. There are plenty of gas stations now but before crossing the dead zone between el Rosario and Guerrero Negro, fill up. If you get low on gas, You can buy gas from various "resalers" at Cataviña and other place for a bunch more than retail. If you get in trouble, stop and ask somebody where can you get gas.

 Had fun at the military stops.  Most of the young men wanted to flirt with our granddaughter Erika. Naturally I didn't take advantage of the situation...  One young man asked if she was my daughter, I said, "no, she's my granddaughter." He then asked if I would like to be his grandfather. Instead of saying no and risk insulting him, I explained that she was already taken and had a 2 1/2 year old son. He didn't seem the least bit bothered by that.

By the way don't be nervous at the military checkpoints. If you don't have drugs or guns or some other obvious thing that could get you tossed in the slammer, you are ok. These kids are bored, tired of each other and most are a long way from home. I've never been robbed or felt threatened by these kids. Think of your kids or friends kids who are away from home for military duty. A big smile and friendliness is usually reciprocated. I sometimes have stuff in the car to hand out like candy bars or bottled water. They are normally very appreciative. Read this if you've never driven the highway.

We stayed our last night at the Hotel Santa Fe in Loreto. There's a big sign outside that says, "$490 pesos per night" or something. It's misleading. That is for single occupancy. My buddy Larry (lawyer in his last life) wanted to know why our quote was more than double the price shown on the banner outside. The clerk explained. Larry said said something to the effect that it was a scam and a ripoff. The clerk replied very politely, "Yes, I know. It is our policy." I mean, how do you respond to the the brutal truth? It was pretty funny. By the way, the hotel is nice, has large rooms and a decent restaurant attached. Also has secure, walled parking.
That's about it. I didn't say a lot about road conditions because they are so good compared to only 10 years ago.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Night Lightning Over the Sea of Cortez

I was at the computer late last night and noticed the lightning. I hadn't bothered to watch it in a long while but it was really going off last night. It appeared to be close but wasn't; I could barely hear the thunder. Here's a few seconds of the flashes behind the clouds.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fearless Roxy the Boston Terrier

Attention East Cape residents. You may not know this but there are loose cows out there. One attacked our car the other day. Fortunately, our dog Roxy protected us. Watch the video as Fearless Roxy saves us with a ferocious bark!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Los Barriles in the Rain

The rain has stopped for now but there is still quite a system out there to our East and North. Maybe it will go up and clobber San Diego; they need some rain.

When the state rebuilt the road in downtown Los Barriles, it was designed to operate as the city's storm drain. Seeing as how there was storm water that was trying to drain, Donna and I went to check it out. Looks like their project is working as advertised! The first part of the video shows us driving through town on the "drainage" route to the ocean. The second part is about an hour later, after a short stop at Los Pescadores hotel to harass a friend, we drive back to check the water level downtown. Remember when LB was a giant mudhole after an average rain? This is way better. When I'm king, I'll fix the sidewalk problem...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Guitar Lust Pt. 3

It's all done.  Mike finished the paint. Complete with clear coat and pearl finish. I had some nice hot Seymour Duncans out of another guitar that I don't play. It has straight wiring without the extra switches that the Jaguars and Jazzmasters used. Also the tone knob balances between the 2 pickups instead of rolling off the highs. The Fretworks in Portland put it all together and I have it. Plays well and sounds good. Now we just have to become friends.

Gotta give my bro-in-law Mike special thanks for the paint job. He spent a lot of time on it and it's perfect.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Remodel Blues

We started a remodel project a couple of years ago.  Many of our neighbors have accused us of turning it into a hobby but we're finally getting close to the end. Thought I'd share some photos of the inside since all you can see is the outside of the garage from the street.

Marcia moved here first in 1989. Her and her late husband Howard started with a trailer and palapa but soon built a home.  Donna came built in 1995.  So it's been a few years since the homes were new. We cobbled together a plan and here's what we ended up with.

The photo below on the left is the breezeway in front of Marcia's house. Donna's house is at the end of the columns and to the right.
The second photo is a from a little different angle but you get the idea. We dressed up the columns a bit and added some gingerbread like the arches. This was a 90% cosmetic remodel. The garage of course was new construction but almost everything inside was non-structural.


The next photos were taken to the right of the above photos, looking back on Marcia's house and then directly at Donna's.

Here are the "after" shots. Again the angles are a little different.

It' still not done as you can see but we're getting close!  Thanks to all our neighbors for their patience while we had the crews and construction materials all over.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Anthony Mullin's Boring Adventure

Ed and Ella's had their 10-year-old grandson down for a few weeks. Curious, a friend asked him the obvious question,”So, did you have a good time?" He and his grandmother (Ella) sent this response. What do you think, was he really “bored”?

 My boring Baja Vacation       by Anthony Mullins

The first thing I did was learn to drive an ATV. I liked learning how to drive and shift the gears. I bugged grandma and grandpa everyday to drive it. At first I could only drive around the block but then I got good enough to drive by myself. I even got to drive it home with my grandma on the back all the way from La Ribera.

I got stung by a jelly fish. That was the worse day of my trip, it hurt really badly but I’m okay now! Went swimming at Buena Vista Beach Resort pool on Father’s Day; since they have memberships there. It was nice to play and swim with my grandpa.

I went snorkeling. I liked floating around and seeing all the fish. I even saw a trumpetfish. I snorkeled with my grandpa first and then I snorkeled with my grandma. We went with Deb and Sam (my grandparents friends) and we took the Kabota (a cart) down the beach. I even got to drive it….it was slow.

I got to go to the car/truck races, Baja style! I met Bob and Donna Farmer’s son Patrick at their house. He invited my grandpa, Sam, Mike (grandpa’s friend) and I to watch him race outside LaPaz. I got to sit in his car, too.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Jag Body Gets Pro Paint Job

That's Mike. Mi cuñado. Married to Donna's sis Mary, MFSIL. He was in charge of the Portland bus system's body shop for years. Knows his paint. He should have the body painted in a couple more days but who knows. He's fussy about stuff. Perfectionist we used to call 'em. All I know is that when he's done, it'll be perfect.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

True Confessions of Guitar Lust

I gotta confession to make. I'm having a guitar built. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, "What the hell does he need with another guitar?!" Well it's like this. A buddy had this guitar in pieces in a box. He gave it to me for a fair price. To make a short story long, by the time I replace all the stuff I decided wasn't good enough, I shoulda just bought another guitar...

Here it is with her parts just laying where they belong. It's a like 8o's Fender Jaguar that somebody customized (and ruined) to be like a Fender Jazzmaster. Both are good guitars by the way.
Next photo is what the guitar might have looked like originally.

It's in Portland right now. Mi cuñado is painting the body and will take it to Portland Fretworks when he's done.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wheelchair Challange

A few years ago our little town went through months of rehabilitation. The state planning commission at some level dropped a new downtown plan right smack on top of us. It was in theory designed to improve our main downtown thoroughfare and fix the storm drainage at the same time.

Like all plans, there were details that lost their focus. One thing that most "civilized" countries actively pursue is to improve access for disabled people. I guess we are considered semi-civilized here and part of our plan included wheelchair ramp access to the downtown sidewalks. Very considerate. I think in a future phase the width of the sidewalks and placement of light poles will also be considered.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Pompano by Steve Herter

As the hockey boys said to Allen Iversen......... No, I still practice and practice......

every day now, a glorious excursion, a new hope bubbling up as I excitedly dress the new fly,

and yesterday, in this hopeless green water sentence we are given,

whilst I was out there talking to this guide Jeff from Bozeman Montana-
he says look at that:
 a puffer fish getting beat up by a fish just thrashing it on the shore not 20 yards from us:

I pushed Jeff and yelled: Run! Throw! and startled, he ran and threw and damn,

this big pompano made him very happy........caught on the fly he just tied!

and this grinning old fool man was there to tell him what it was, take his picture, and send the picture to him-ha! He reports it ate very well!

So no, I still fish and fish and gloriously, fish alone today because Bonnie has to work, so I can race way down beach, scaring myself in my nascar race with myself right by the sea edge...............

and you should see today's fly!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Marci Castro Coming to Los Barriles

The Roadrunner Cafe of open mic fame will be hosting Marci Castro, pianist and vocalist on Sunday the 17th.  Come have breakfast with us and enjoy some fantastic music. Marci has been spending her winters in San Jose del Cabo entertaining for several years. She will start playing at 10 AM.  Here's Marci playing with Robert Drake in San Jose.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hay Bartender!

East Cape Fishing Tournament Schedule 2012

There will be a lot of fishing tournaments this summer. Many are sponsored by private groups; many by our local hotels and clubs. Click the links. I'm sure I've missed one or two, leave a comment if you know of any more, I'll add them.

Los Barriles/East Cape


East Cape Offshore Tournament — Tuesday, July 24–Saturday, July 28 (3 fishing days)

Cabo San Lucas

June 28-July 1

October 12-16, 2010 / October 11-15, 2011 / October 16-20, 2012

2012 BISBEE’S TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE Los Cabos Offshore Tournament — Friday, October 19–Sunday, October 21 (2 fishing days)

Black & Blue Marlin Tournament — Tuesday, October 23–Saturday, October 27 (3 fishing days)

November 7 - 10

Friday, April 27, 2012

Jeff Brown of Reel Baja

According to my beach fishing friend, Steve Herter, Jeff is a good fly fisherman and guide. I'm not a fly fisherman and haven't gone out with Jeff but will gladly take Steve's word for it. He was out one day and got some good photos of Jeff and a client landing and releasing a nice Rooster. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marsha's Burros

Our friend Marcia has pet burros. Not really but they come to her house daily, stand at the gate and make all kinds of racket until she comes out with her special bag of treats. So what is the secret thing that Burros love? Wait for it... Gumdrops. Seriously. I happened to be in the neighborhood the other day to witness these goofballs hollering at Marcia for their gumdrops. Who knew?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sand Masters at the Lord of the Winds

Have you wandered over to the beach lately? It's filling up with wind surfers, kiters, food booths, people and HUGE sand castles. Our very own "Lord of the Winds" tournament organizers have enticed the Travel Channel to cover the event. What is really fun is that they brought a team of sand castle architects. Their first structure is on the beach in front of the Palmas hotel but is being torn down Friday morning to make room for the next one. My buddy Jim Brik and I were watching them finish filming yesterday afternoon. For their promo spot, they had their team stand behind this incredible sand structure and shout "The Travel Channel Moves You!!" I couldn't hear all that was being said but evidently the "crack" sandcastle team misunderstood and thought they were supposed to shout something else. Check out the video for the results.