Sunday, December 12, 2010

USA Today Gives Mexico Positive Press

My friend Jim sent me this today. It bears reading if only to feel better about the treatment we receive from the US press.  It's about US citizens retiring in San Miguel.  Not only does the article paint a fairly accurate picture, there is a side-bar that gives you some honest questions to ask yourself before coming.

The church La Parroquia in San Miguel

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 26, 2010

East Cape Kiting and Windsurfing

The area around Los Barriles is world famous for its kiting and windsurfing. The main reason naturally is the WIND! How clever is that? Actually the best part is that the wind is generally parallel to to beach. Not offshore; not inshore. That means you can take off from the beach, go groove in the wind for awhile and sail back in without a bunch of brutal tacking maneuvers. During the winter, the wind is from the North mostly; summer it comes mainly from the south.

The most well known area is called "North Beach." It's located North of Los Barriles. Go figure. A newer hot spot is between Los Barriles and La Paz called "la Ventana." Great winds and less well known.

This video is from Exotikite. They have a school and store in Los Barriles. I can't recommend one school over another from personal knowledge but my grand daughter and her boyfriend both work for Exotikite. What are ya gonna do?

If you're a kiter or windsufer, check out the Lord of the Wind contest being held here in January. This is going to be huge, get your hotel reservations soon.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stuff To Do Around The East Cape

 Some folks have the idea that there's nothing to do out here but fish and kite. In fact a buddy in San Jose del Cabo calls our area "Los BORE-ilas." Hardly.  Maybe a little slower paced but there's plenty to do.

How about I start with the obvious:  Fishing!!! Of course there's fishing. World class it is. You can charter a boat from several different hotels and private operators. Here's a list that I compiled in a few minutes with Google. It's pretty good and I've undoubtedly left folks off.

Agave Hotel
Baja Marlin
Hotel Buena Vista
East Cape Resorts
East Cape RV
Los Pescadores
Martin Verdugo’s
The Reel Baja

Several restaurants around town will cook your fish for you. (Googly, Googly Batman, I'm not going to do ALL the work for you.) You can also get your fish smoked over at Smokey's Cantina.

I'll tell you where the good hot springs are, where to dig a hot tub on the beach, where to kite, where to ride horses, where to rent quads, where to ride bikes, where to find the waterfalls and where to rock and roll. Just don't hold your breath; I'm a slow poster.....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Music Night

Thanks to those who skipped the ball game and joined us last night. We had a nice crowd and a truly unruly bunch of musicians.  The songlist was all over the map with country hick songs requested by yours truly to nice jazz standards like "girl from ipanima." This week our "band" lineup included  Maya (percussion, guitar, vocals, 3 or 4 other things), Jennette (guitar, percussion and vocals), Big Jim (guitar, standup bass, vocals and safety supervision), Ray (standup bass) Mary Mary (guitar and vocals), Mad Mike (drums) Vinnie (accordian and vocals), Easy Ed (harmonica), Dave (guitar and vocals), Rio (vocals).  (I think I left somebody out. If I did, email me.  I'll mention you twice next time.) There is lots of talent within our little community and lots of talent that passes through.   Huge thanks to the musicians. Great job. Only a couple of us practice together on a regular basis. 

Next week Roadrunner Cafe will serve dinner. The restaurant will be open to serve you at 6PM on Wednesday the 3rd.  I don't have the complete menu but the main course is spiral ham. We also have great desserts and cerveza, wine and well drinks.

Music will start about 7; we'll play until 9 or so.  Musicians: Please come a bit early if you can.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Music Night returns at Roadrunner

The Roadrunner Cafe will be hosting her first open music night of the season next Wed, Oct 27.  If you never made it last year, bring an instrument or your voice and join in.  If you want to do a particular song that is not in our songbook, make at least 10 charts to share with the other musicians. If you have questions, click on the "comments" at the bottom of this post and leave them there.

We'll try and get started about 7PM.  There will be a special food menu and drinks available.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Old photos of Baja California

While I was trying to find info about the subject of my last post, I stumbled across a great photo site. This photo purports to show the execution of one of the fellows involved in "Cabo Fierro."

Click here for more photos.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cabo Fierro

Most of you know that I work for Cabo Riviera. The location of the development is a 600 acre parcel on the coast by La Ribera. Before it was purchased by the Cabo Riviera group, this property had been controlled by a local "ejido" since after the revolution in 1910.

Speaking of the revolution.....       That wasn't a real smooth segue was it?
But if you're interested in old stories and history, stay with me for a couple of minutes.

There is some old rubble on the property, literally buried in salt ceders. Remains is a better description; there are only a couple of recognizable objects.  I mentioned this to a young man who works with us named Diego. He told me that it was the site of "Cabo Fierro." As near as I can tell, during the years prior to the revolution, some local fellows were opposing the rule of Porfirio Diaz.  Troops were soon dispatched to re-educate the miscreants. The soldiers found the trouble makers holed up in a building built with thick, brick walls. The bullets were unable to penetrate the walls and the protesters survived the attack. Naturally they became instant heroes.*  According to Diego, the site where I found the rubble is the area where the anti-Porfirio folks were attacked.

Months later a lady I work with, Cristina, and I happened by the spot again and decided to stop and take a look. We soon found a trail that the workers had opened up. Cristina dove right in with her camera in hand; I followed looking for snakes. At the end of the trail we found an old well and a small structure near and above it. It obviously had been abandoned for years.

After some fine detective work (standing in one place and looking around) we realized that the well was once the source of water for the old abandoned brick aqueducts that provided local farmers with irrigation. The brickwork had been there a long time before being repaired with concrete. On the side of the little structue, we found a drawing etched in the concrete and a date. The date is 1964 and the drawing is weird.

See what I mean?

I noticed that the workers were occasionally taking the old bricks from the site and stacking them.  After inquiring I was told that the bricks were being saved to be used in the Artists Village area of the Cabo Riviera.

If any of you have heard anything pertaining to this, please write.  It's pretty interesting.

(I was told that later the protesters were caught by surprise while celebrating in town and all killed but why ruin a good hero story?)

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Little Bite Part 3


If you are stopped for a traffic crime in los Cabos but are innocent, you have rights. Drivers here have the legal right to go to the station immediately and resolve the problem. If you make it clear that you want to go to the station, normally the cop will back off, give you a verbal warning for the supposed infraction and say something like, “I will give you an opportunity today.” I’ve been given several opportunities. Each time, my little voice encourages me to say something like, “Gee sank you so vedi much. I gotta opportunity right hea’ fo’ ya mista." My inner voice has an accent. Too much TV maybe.

You know, when you roll it over in your mind a few times, the idea of dealing with a simple traffic ticket right there on the street almost makes sense. The poor idiot that let his tags expire pays the “fine” directly to the underpaid cop. Then both parties just drive away with no paperwork and no court date. The cop has no reports to file. The bureaucracy is smaller…… Hmmmmmm

Or maybe I’ve been here too long.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Little Bite Part 2

If you’re a normal, safe driver in a rental car driving with your seat belt on, you are about 99% safe. But even in the US, you can get pulled over for “no” reason.

Let’s say you’re in beautiful downtown San Jose del Cabo and the police stop you. They have this horrible sounding horn; you'll know when you're supposed to stop! Naturally you will be a bit nervous. Here’s a little primer for how the conversation might go:

You, the Nervous Tourist: “But officer, there’s no stop sign! I would have stopped if there was a stop sign. How was I supposed to know?”

Very serious los Cabos Police Officer: “Si señor but I have give you ticket and take license.  You pay to station they give you license. 500 pesos” 

       Here’s where it gets good. 

Nervous Tourist: “But officer, if I go to the station we will miss our flight. Can I pay you here?” 

Officer: (whose attitude suddenly improves a bit) “Si Señor but I no have receipts.”

Less Nervous Tourist: “That’s ok, I don’t need a receipt.”

Officer: “OK, you pay me now.”

Slightly Emboldened Nervous Tourist: “Will you give me a discount for paying in cash?”

And so on until an accord is reached. You make it to the airport on time; he drives away with some extra cash.

Next:   Part 3, Conclusion

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Little Bite Part 1

I was driving through San Jose del Cabo, Baja Sur one cool, December night when I saw flashing lights. A traffic cop had cornered some poor local teenagers on the other side of the boulevard. The officer had his ticket book in one hand and his pen in the other, poised to write the ticket. The young man was talking and gesturing.  You might think the cop was listening to his excuse. O contraire!  He was simply waiting patiently for the driver to add some pesos to his “Christmas Bonus.” It is called “mordida” by the locals meaning “a little bite.” In plain language, so that slow folks like me can understand: a bribe. Remember that the citizens of most of the world generally believe that all Americans possess unlimited financial resources. Maybe they think that the US government distributes some of the trillions they borrow to us lucky citizens!!

The cops can be intimidating when they stop you.  They are actually pretty harmless especially if you have only committed some minor atrocity like a “DWG” (driving while gringo). They will stop you for obvious visible problems such as no plates, expired tags and things like that. (See my blog titled, “Give ‘im Fi’ Dolla ”)  A recent addition to their repertoire is the seat belt law that was passed a few years ago. It seems that the law only pertains to the front seat. Imagine being stopped for not wearing your seat belt. The vehicle that has stopped you is an official municipal police pickup. The back of the pickup has between 3 and 8 cops sitting on the sides of the pickup, hanging on for dear life with their toenails because the creed of machismo dictates that you can’t look like you’re nervous and grab a handhold.  

I’m pretty sure you weren't stopped out of concern for public safety.

Tomorrow:  Being stopped by the cops in Los Cabos.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

East Cape Magic Village 300 Race

I hope that's a decent translation. It's actually called,"Cabo del Este Pueblo Magico 300" But what it really means is there's a big off-road race on Sunday the 29th. You should check out the map and find a good spot to park and watch the race go by. What is really the best is a slightly elevated spot that views a straight stretch with a curve somewhere in it. Ya gotta see these machines go around curves! If you can find a straight stretch with a curve and a JUMP, you're there. Bring snacks and beverages and prepare for the weather before you go; it could be boiling hot or it could be raining.

If you've never been to one of these off-road races, they are a lot of fun. Most of the participants are local boys and some are darn good drivers. The Jeffries family for example has been doing this for a lot of years here in Baja along with many others.

If you go, be extremely aware of where you are at all times.  These guys move FAST.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cabo Business People

I met a local couple the other day while working in the office out at Cabo Riviera in La Ribera. They were having a nice quiet lunch and I verbally bludgeoned them into taking a tour.  Well maybe it wasn't quite that bad.  They actually went willingly. During the tour I found out quite a bit about them and decided they provide the type of subject matter I'm looking for. And no, they didn't buy a lot.  Not that day.

You may have read the tongue-in-cheek article in the Gringo Gazette about Robert Jankovics and his service of providing US license plates for us "extranjeros" who have trouble renewing our original plates.  I know several people who use this service and are extremely grateful for it. Believe me when I tell you, it's much better to have legal plates than some of the other options we use. The local cops are wise to the home-made sticker scam. If your state refuses to renew your plates because the car is not present, this may be your best next option.

He and his wife however are much more involved in the area than simply providing license plates. They also have a hotel located in Cabo San Lucas, Hotel Cabo Paraiso, condo rentals and some other stuff.  I should have written it down....... They also have available a private beach on the sunset side of the Pedragal that is a beautiful site for weddings and other events.  Here's a couple of photos:

That's all I have for now.

No Bad Days

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Journalist's View of Mexico

American journalist Linda Ellerbee who has spent several years in Puerto Vallarta has written an  honest and straightforward article about many of the positive aspects of Mexico. Every country has their dark underside but I'm a bit tired of the US press portraying the country of Mexico as a dastardly den of degenerate drug dealers.

I'm not going to beat you with my soapbox but if you don't already understand this one thing, please try and understand it now:   The drug killings along the border are primarily caused by the insatiable demand for illegal drugs IN THE US. This problem was not created by the country of Mexico. This is simply supply and demand economics 101 but with illegal products that people are willing to kill and die for.

Here's some homework for you:
How are the drugs distributed in the US?
How are billions of dollars worth of drugs taken across the border without help within the US?
Why aren't there ever reports of the FBI closing in on an American "drug lord" counterpart inside the US?

Most of you are already familiar with Mexico but I hope you enjoy this article. It's by Linda Ellerbee who is well known in the world of journalism.  Click on the link below.
Mexico: One Journalist's View

One more thing:  Since I'm on a roll here, check these statistics.  Interesting.

“Mexico’s homicide rate has fallen steadily from a high in 1997 of 17 per 100,000 people to 14 per 100,000 in 2009, a year marked by an unprecedented spate of drug slayings concentrated in a few states and cities, Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna said. The national rate hit a low of 10 per 100,000 people in 2007, according to government figures compiled by the independent Citizens’ Institute for Crime Studies.
By comparison, Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have homicide rates of between 40 and 60 per 100,000 people, according to recent government statistics. Colombia was close behind with a rate of 33 in 2008. Brazil’s was 24 in 2006, the last year when national figures were available.
Mexico City’s rate was about 9 per 100,000 in 2008, while Washington, D.C. was more than 30 that year.”

I'm just saying.........

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Storm Season

It's that time of year again.  There's a tropical storm below us that looks pretty harmless at this point. Check out progress at Wunderground among other sites.
However, now is the time to start thinking about storm shutters and preparing for hurricanes.  If you don't use storm shutters (many don't here in Baja) and you don't have a generator (see last parenthesis) at least do the basic things that will help make a storm a little more bearable.  I've been through several and never had wind damage that amounted to anything until JOHN.  Nasty storm. Took out 6 sliders and a couple of windows.

Bad things that can happen sometimes as the result of a hurricane:
1. We lose power
2. A bridge or critical arroyo gets washed out
3. A water main breaks
4. Stuff breaks including windows (think about water damage)
5. The gas stations run out of gas
6. The food stations run out of food
7. It gets hotter and more humid afterward than is bearable
Etc etc

On the bright side of this is that in the last few years, Baja California Sur has made big improvements to the infrastructure.  We have bridges over all the major arroyos.  We have many more gas stations than just a few years ago. The power company is taking a more active role in storm preparation.  We have many more grocery stores. More hardware, more everything. More cows on the highway. I just threw that last one in there for free. So recovery from a storm these days is in many ways, easier to handle.

But you could be stuck at your house with no gas, no electricity, no food, no flashlights or candles or A/C and so on. Picture this if you will:  It's 8pm.  There's no power. You have no lights, no refrigerator, no TV, NO A/C!  Waddya gonna do? It's WAY too hot to snuggle. You can't play cards in the dark. So picture clearly all these things and decide the level of protection you need and then the level you want and make some decisions.

Or buy airline tickets at the first sign of trouble.
Where's the fun in that you COWARDS!

Have some stuff ahead of time:
Gasoline:  Nothing worse than not being able to drive around after a storm and look at broken stuff. I think we won't run out of gas so quickly any more since the proliferation of gas stations in the area.  We even have 2 in Los Barriles now!   But remember: just because you're paranoid doesn't mean we WON'T run out of gas.
Food:  Same deal. We have enough stores around that if you have a car (and gas) you might be ok.
Propane:  If you're using a gas stove or gas water heater, check your gas NOW.
Electricity:  Small generators are getting cheaper and cheaper. A generator that costs under $1000 can even run an small A/C unit if you're careful.
Kayaks:  Several years ago, a bunch of enthusiastic Buena Vista/Los Barriles fellas lead by Steve Chism took their kayaks down one of the raging arroyos. Sounds like a self-destructive suicidal way.  Forget the kayaks.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list but if you go to the National Hurricane Center site, they have a BUNCH of good stuff for you.

Get ready or not. Here they come.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Best Bisbee East Cape Yet

In my opinion which is worth exactly what you paid for it, this was a great fishing tournament. There were plenty of fish caught, lots of fish released, and good stories too.

Congratulations to the Bisbee family and Clicerio Mercado. They put on a good show.

Thanks to the Spa Buena Vista Hotel and the Valdez family, Cabo Riviera for sponsorship and to all the participants. For the final results for the winners and winnings, go to the Bisbee's site.

Here's a few highlights:

Day one, Tom Lansing on the Dreamweaver weighed this monster 581# Black Marlin. It's right there in between the little girls with the blue jackets. Tom had a good tourney, check the photo at the bottom.

This young man whose name may be Jordan, sorry it's an age thing, while fishing on the "Awesome" brought in a nice 119 # Tuna to steal the prize from the boat who had already weighed a 118 pounder. The Awesome had the daily winner for about 45 minutes when Don Whittier (pictured below) brought in a 120# Tuna to take it from the Awesome. Wow. The thrill of victory 3 times and the agony of defeat twice. All in one day and in one category. That's fishing.

Don not only swiped the victory from the team on the Awesome, he won the Tuna class all three days. Hard fishing and a little luck. Congrats.

In case you don't recognize this illustrious threesome, on the left is the Governor of Baja Sur, Narciso Agundez who fished with Oscar Daccarett (in the middle and who has won a few tournaments during his fishing career.) And on the end is Martha McNab, a local Buena Vista girl who was recently accepted into the Royal Billfish Slam Club after catching all 9 species of billfish. She is one of only SEVEN ladies who have accomplished this.

Hey it's Tom again! Nice Dorado guys.

That's all folks. Can't wait for next year!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bisbee's East Cape Offshore

Day one was exciting:  Day 2 was unbelievable!!!!!

If you want to read about it, go to my Cabo Riviera blog.

Basketball Fashion Statement

This has nothing to do with Baja other than my son lived here for several years and visits yearly. He and his 3 on 3 basketball team decided to show some pizazz with their unis this year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Bisbee Offshore

The Bisbee got off to a great start today.  I put photos and info on my Cabo Riviera blog since they are sponsors of the Bisbee. So check out the action at

Thanks, Bob

Nice Dorado!

My friend and Donna's breakfast customer, Barry, brought in a NICE dorado the other day.  I forgot the exact weight but it's over 70#.  NICE ONE Barry.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Que Milagro!

I know it's been a while since I've posted. My bad. Uninspired. Lazy. Etc.

But it's Bisbee season again here on the East Cape! Today is registration day for the Bisbee's East Cape Offshore Tournament. Here's today's schedule:

3:00-7:00pm Registration and distribution of Team Bags at the Hotel Buena Vista.
6:00-7:00pm Angler, Captain and Deckhand Meeting on the Pool Deck. Attendance by at least one Team member is mandatory.
7:00-9:00pm Kick-Off Cocktail Party.

I'll be there in official capacity as a sales rep for the Cabo Riviera marina development. (but I'll try and enjoy it too......) 
Come by and check it out. The usual cast of characters will be present.

See you there.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mom's Day in San Jose

Happy Mothers' Day.  Hope everyone had a good one.  We enjoyed a day on the beach followed by a great meal by Chef Steve at his house and then followed by a live Rock and Roll concert by (drum roll) ......heck I don't even know if the kids named their band!  Anyway Steve and Helen's two boys and their pal are sounding pretty good these days and treated us to several good tunes from Hendrix and Led Zep to Nirvana to a couple of new bands that I don't know the names. Pretty versatile covering 40 years of music. Here's some pix.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Baja Peninsula Video circa 1949

This video was forwarded to me today from my friend Martha here in Spa Buena Vista. If you're a resident or a Baja fan, you're going to enjoy it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Buena Vista Death March

I've mentioned that I walk with a friend and neighbor in the hills around Buena Vista. The nice lady that we walk with, Brigitte, is shall we say "adamant" about walking. Those of us who have had the dubious pleasure of being dragged up and down, over the rocks and through the mud kicking and screaming have earned our blisters. We tell each other that we're in better shape. We claim that we've lost a few pounds. It's possible I suppose......

On the other hand, we have a good time walking early in the morning. We've seen turtles come out of their nest on the beach and watched baby owls grow up. A deer nearly ran over us one morning.

Here's a short slide show of some of the things I've been able to photograph with my phone.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Turtles

My walking partner Brigitte called the other morning (at 5AM...) and said we would walk the beach that day. There was a fresh hatch of little baby sea turtles. The nesting season is pretty much over but there are always some stragglers. We found 6 turtles which were so cold that they seemed lifeless and were easy prey for the birds. We warmed them up in our hands while I detailed the dangers of ocean life and how they shouldn't befriend strangers especially ones that could eat them. In a few minutes they were charged up and ready to go.

Here's a little video of one making his way into the water.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The True History of Snagging (Honest!)

I was looking at new marlin lures the other day. They were on sale for 50 bucks apiece. Are you saying “wow great price” or are you choking and thinking “you gotta be out of your mind!!!?” If you’re thinking the latter, you may be one of those non-fisherpersons out there that just don’t understand the dynamics of fishing. Ya wanna catch fish? Ya gotta have gear.

Historically, men have spent their last dime on any new equipment that might help catch more fish. In fact the famous Viking fisherman, Eric the Blue, (I read somewhere that he earned his name from an ice-fishing adventure that ended badly) bought a new ship every year. His favorite sales rep, Iven Ja-öber, always promised that each years’ new boats would be a guarantee to greatly improved catching rates. Eric, the eternal optimist, believed Iven but his fish-catching never improved. Finally Eric's wife Olga couldn’t take it anymore. She started screaming at him in front of his friends, “How can you spend our last dime on a new boat every year and still not catch fish?!” Boy was his face red! Being embarrassed in front of his friends made him so angry that he changed his name, quit fishing forever and started pillaging and plundering. He will never be remembered as a great fisherman but man could he pillage!

Men kept spending more money on fishing gear and boats each year without catching more fish. Of course if you listen to the tales told to the sound of lattes being steamed in the morning, you would be convinced that everyone was catching boatloads of fish with the exception of you. The ancient mariners fine-tuned their tales of monster fish they had battled. They could hold their listeners spellbound for hours with stories of epic proportion. However, they could not figure out how to answer their lovely wives when asked "Oh, you're catching monster fish? So where are they already. Don’t tell me they got away or you threw them back!!!" Something was rotten in Denmark but it wasn’t fish. Soon most of the wives were nagging their poor husbands mercilessly. The whole fishing fleet became so desperate that they hired an evil genius wizard to solve their problem. After several weeks of meditation and incantations, inspiration came. "If the fish won't bite the hook" he reasoned, "the hook will bite the fish!!" He told the fishermen that if they built a treble hook big enough, they could just yank it through the water and whatever fish happened to be in the way... FISH ON! The fishermen tested the invention and found that it worked far better than expected. Now they had actual fish to verify their tales of bravado. It became a secret joke among the Vikings. One would look at the other and say, “She’s nagging.” Naturally the new method took on the name “she’s nagging” and was eventually shortened to “snagging.”

Today we have sophisticated equipment to help us in our quest to conquer the elusive lunker. We have depth finders, fish finders, weather reports, moon and tide charts and every shape and color of lure that you could imagine. You can also buy over-sized treble hooks at any tackle shop in the world. It looks to me like we will continue to keep these hooks in our tackle boxes even in the face of fines and possible jail time until nagging is also outlawed.

Friday, March 19, 2010


All right, you asked for it. Here's a look at part of my shirt collection. I couldn't photograph the whole thing without showing you how messy my closet is. Satisfied?

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Fishermen

There are two types of fishermen: sport-fishermen and serious fish catchers. My old granny said that there was only one type: lazy, good-for-nothing liars but this is my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Both types of fishermen are found anywhere that fish can be caught. Many times they are fishing side by side. Both can be found using an appropriately sized hook or lure cast from a fishing rod. A sub-classification of sport-fisherman is called the “fly-fisherman.” This type will never be confused with a serious fish catcher. Their fishing rods are the diameter of spaghetti noodles and designed to cast extremely small hooks that have microscopic pieces of lint attached. Fly fishing was invented for those who are too squeamish to touch pieces of dead fish or worms. My friend Jim B. who is an accomplished fly-fisherman will argue that last point but he’s a fisherman and you know what my old granny says about them. Also, JB maintains that there is honor in not catching fish and the process is as important as the outcome. Go figure.

Sport fishermen and serious fish catchers have one particular thing in common. Both types regularly calculate the size and weight of their fish instead of actually measuring and/or weighing. There is a universal system invented by a fellow named Lenny. It’s called “Lenny’s ingenious estimation system” or “LIES” for short. This is a specific form of math like calculus or something. It was designed to add length and weight to a fish that is directly proportional to the time that has lapsed since the fish was caught. With a little creativity, this same method is applied to the fish that got away. In a rare instance, I was actually able to apply the math to a world-record tuna that I didn’t even hook. This practice gave rise to the saying that….”fishermen are born honest, they just get over it”.

A sports fisherman will quit fishing to have his lunch under a tree or to take a nap. Occasionally he will even throw perfectly a good fish back in the water. He would rather use a lure or fly instead of bait. If he goes home empty-handed, he just does not care.

Then there are serious fish catchers. Their goal is to catch their legal limit at least twice and go home with a cooler full of fish. The least scrupulous serious fish catchers frequently practice what is termed "snagging." To snag, you take this big hook, fling it in the water as far as possible then jerk it to the bank as hard and fast as you can until the hook stops. If you’re lucky, it stopped because an unlucky fish got in the way. It’s not real important which part of the fish gets in the way as long as it’s hooked well. The snagging method was designed to improve your chances of catching fish. This is much better than going home empty-handed and then catching flack from the wife. Although snagging is illegal in many parts of the world, it is accepted by most cultures as a fair and balanced way of putting food on the table. It is actually thought of quite highly in Alaska where it is occasionally legal.
(See “The origin of snagging” elsewhere in this blog)

Personally, I’ve done both. I’ve fished just for the pure enjoyment of it and I’ve snagged salmon to fill the freezer. Once I even had a friend offer to teach me how to fly fish.

My fly-fishing friend is a purist. In his mind, tricking a fish into biting an artificial bug is the ultimate thrill. When he describes how making the perfect cast and presenting the bug in the most natural way results in a hooked fish, his eyes tear up. Mine glaze over.

I had to listen to him wax stupid over fly-fishing so many times that I eventually accepted his offer of a lesson. First he selected just the right fishing rod ( not pole!) out of his collection for me. We practiced in the back yard. He was very patient but I soon got the idea that I wasn’t getting the idea. He talked about loading the rod correctly which turned out to be different than putting it in the trunk in such a way that it didn’t get broken. Finally after many lessons he called and said we would go to his favorite stream and do some real fishing. I have to admit that I was a little excited. I’ve never been particularly opposed to sticking worms on a hook but I wanted to catch a fish on a fly just to see what all the fuss was about.

We arrived at the spot, parked the car under a tree and unloaded our outfits. I put the rod together just like he showed me. He hand selected the perfect artificial bug for me from his own special box of hand-made bugs. We waded into the water. He positioned himself several yards away for his own safety and began casting. It was just like he told me; watching the fish come up and inspect the piece of lint you were offering was pretty exciting. I cast and retrieved all afternoon. I finally felt like I was catching on even though I wasn’t catching fish. I loved the way my bug hit the water with a “splash” but for some reason my friend winced every time it did. His bug was lazy; it just kind of landed quietly with no fanfare. My opinion was that all the fish he hooked were retarded for biting such a boring presentation and I certainly didn't want to catch any retarded fish. Finally we were loading up our gear at the end of the day. My friend put his hand on my shoulder and said, “After one day of fishing, I believe you have developed your own style.” Heck, I knew I had done well but not THAT well! He continued, “Your style is very similar to an elderly lady chasing a dog with a broom.”

Well so much for fly fishing. I knew it was a bad idea to begin with.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I'm not part of the techno revolution but I gotta tell you about a site. Go to Somebody please explain to me how the heck they have 3-D photography of most of the addresses in the US and some of the rest of the world.

How Orwellian.......

Monday, February 22, 2010

My new grandson

I am today officially a GREAT grandad. Although my buddies have assured me that I'm not that great. My wife's grand-daughter Erica gave birth to a dandy 6#9oz boy on Saturday. Not a record but for sure a KEEPER!! Everybody is fine except for Papa Jorge who is a bit nervous about handling his boy. (He'll get over that in a hurry, right??)
This young fella, Julien's the name by the way, makes the fifth generation of the Ryan clan in Los Barriles: Marcia, (she's 88 but don't tell her I said so) Marcia's daughter Donna(my wife), Donna's son Pat, Pat's daughter Erica and Erica's son Julien. Five. Pretty cool.
Here's some photos:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Parade in Los Barriles!!!

A fellow I know in San Jose calls our little town "Los Bore-iles." (I won't mention his name but his initials are Jeff King.) DUDE! We have exciting things going on here! Boring my hiney! Check out the video of our 1st annual Mardi Gras parade. We went some of the way on this one with several expenses spared!
I "borrowed" this video from Dr. Mary's You Tube site. (I've always believed it is much easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.Hope she doesn't read my blog) Click on her name above to go to her You Tube channel.