a new smoker

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 7, 2014 by jungle

so, myself and a friend are having a custom built smoker made.

it’s a good sized vertical smoker that will hold 15 chickens or a 4 foot long pig.

(hold on, i’m salivating…or is that salvavating?)

we’ve been doing this for about a month now on another friend’s already built smoker.  two days a week.

we’re using buttonwood which grows wild here and it smells and tastes just like mesquite and, being from Texas (hat over heart) that’s a really good thing.

the unfortunate thing about all this is we sell out every day we smoke so we don’t get to eat a lot of this chicken…actually, none so far.  but we get a lot of good reviews and we sell it all.

one other problem is that the chickens are  hiding in abandoned coops and writing diaries so they are getting harder to find.

it’s a good thing that buttonwood can’t move very easily but it still trembles when we pass.

we’ve already smoked a  pork leg and some chicken breasts but what we’re doing now are whole chickens for takeaway and for use on the Driftwood menu.  i’m on a quest to find somebody with a camera and will be posting pictures.  watch this space.

i’ve already had one woman ask me if i will put her on the smoker if she dies and comes back as a chicken…she promises that she will have nice big breasts…true story.

i think i’m going to get another beer…later on, y’all.



utila honey

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2013 by jungle

one of the things i’ve missed most during my time on this island is honey.

i mean real honey, not that watered down, chemical filled crap you get from Monsanto.

i’m talking about the pure unadulterated kind you get from real bees.  bees that feed on the pollen of real plants that grow in your neighborhood (or at least very close by).

the fact that they just a little africanized is a small price to pay.

i never thought i would ever see that here.

but still… i missed it.

so where did this bottle of real, pure honey that’s sitting on my table in front of me come from?


the savannah of utila to be exact.

and man is it good.  and good for you.

it’s so dark it’s almost black.  it’s thick and it hits the back of your throat like sweet liquid silk.

i thought i’d never experience this here.  but here it is.

so now there are working bee hives on this little island.

in fact there are two sets of bee hives on the island.  one in the aforementioned savannah, the other

in the bush.

the one in the bush is somewhat different given the different pollens available there.

it’s a rich golden color.  so after all this time i not only have real honey available to me but i have two different types

of real honey.

from the same small island.

i wonder how this is going to affect the rest of the fantasies i’ve held onto all this time.












so after all th


the new world

Posted in Uncategorized on January 29, 2013 by jungle

2012 was not a bad send off of the old world.  i had the extreme pleasure of teaching 11 new scuba instructors with the help of a very capable IDC Staff Instructor from yet another place where everyone talks funny.  it was good to get back to that.

from what i remember, new years eve was a lot of fun (those you tube videos were faked, by the way, just sayin’) and i really felt good about looking up at the sky at midnight with my feet planted firmly in the sand of chepe’s white hole and seeing a few old friends.  i’m getting the sand worms removed this Friday.

2013 has ushered in quite a few changes.

i’ve moved into a new apartment.  a place i really like.  it’s comfortable, clean, (mostly) and has no brown recluse spiders (or any other kind).

i have a lot of time for reading now and i take great delight in constantly annoying my friends to death with my new insights.  (as well as some old ones i’ve taken off the shelf and dusted)

i have successfully repelled a weevil invasion by putting the whole container of flour in the freezer for four days.  they never saw THAT coming! now all i need is a sifter to help get their little dead weevil bodies out so i can make biscuits and gravy again.  with crunchy bacon.

i also have put down a hostile takeover attempt by a cartel of roaches who were intent on squatting in my kitchen.  i treated them to a Raid bomb (i don’t have a problem with biological warfare as long as the cause is just) and promptly disposed of three and a half kilos of roach bodies.

i hung all four of them on the wall outside my front door as a warning to future interlopers.

so far my favorite accomplishment this year is finally becoming comfortable with the blues “A” scale on the guitar.  this calls for a big “thank you” to my pig farming friend for his patience and perseverance.  only five more scales to go.

my computer at home died and i’m looking for a new one.  as i have no clue exactly what kind of computer i need/want this could take some time.

so my current trend of putting large chunks of time between posts is likely to continue for a while.

i’ll be thinking about ya.


the winter of my brown recluse

Posted in Uncategorized on February 15, 2012 by jungle

my brown recluse bite (yeah, i said it was a tarantula but that’s just because they’re cuter and stuff, besides, do you people believe everything you hear?  geez, don’t get so touchy for…well, just don’t get so touchy, ok?) is healing nicely in week 9 of “the winter of my brown recluse” and i am (was) almost walking normally.

last night at 10:55 pm i was roused from my nocturnal sojourn through a particularly interesting (at least for me) fantasy (would you like to hear about it?  didn’t think so…) by an intense urge to vacate the space i like to call “my kidneys”.

i swung my legs over the bed, put them firmly on the floor, and jumped back into the bed screaming like a little girl due to the feeling of an intense electric shock running from my right foot to the base of my neck.

i turned on the lamp, saw the offending scorpion, secured the sacred broom handle and slowly crushed the life out of the rat bastard what stung my paw.

then i checked for breathing (for 10 seconds), felt for a pulse, and reached for the O2 kit.

just kidding.  i put the broom handle down and reached for the mop as my heretofore fully laden kidneys now had a surprisingly empty feeling.

anyways, the scorpion formerly known as “Freight Train Turner” is currently a mucilaginous spot on the floor by my fan.

did i mention it was my only uninjured foot?

the Doctor says i’ll be dancing in a few weeks, which is good because i couldn’t do that before.




clinical insanity

Posted in day to day on February 7, 2012 by jungle

i’ve heard the assertion that the definition of clinical insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

hell, i’ve said this myself.  many times.  it’s often how i describe my own life.

www.law.com describes it like this:  Insanity n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.

lawyers like to use this definition to determine innocence if there’s a guilty person in front of a jury or guilt if there’s an innocent person in front of a jury.

while my definition is basically crap (and, being from Texas, i can live with that) i will most likely continue to use it.

however, the correct definition corresponds closely with my meaning as i have witnessed a fair number of people in my life that this applies to and as far as i know almost none of these people have been indicted (but a few probably should be).

no names, no names!

i can understand how fine and blurry the line between fantasy and reality can be (especially at Coco Loco’s early in the morning) but come on,  don’t you sometimes want to try a different way once in a while just to see what happens?

and how the hell can a store keep convincing me to buy snickers bars that are so old even the peanuts are stale?

there oughta be a law!

things you should know…

Posted in day to day on January 29, 2012 by jungle

Top Ten Ear Problems In Scuba Diving

It’s fundamental . . .

Equalizing your air spaces is something you need to do every few feet as soon as you begin your descent. If you don’t do this you will have a problem, so you will need to ascend a few feet and try again. You should start this even before you get into the water. The most common way to depressurize your ears is to squeeze your nose shut and blow gently against it with your mouth closed.
If you’re successful you should feel a soft “pop” in both ears.
If you can’t clear, abort your dive to prevent possible permanent ear injuries.
Be sensitive to your ears.
Next to “always breathe and never hold your breath” this is probably the most important rule  in scuba diving. Remember too, that while using the Valsalva method, blow gently, never forcefully, to prevent an ear injury.
If you have a cold or a sinus problem, don’t dive.
It hurts.
Even while ascending, you could experience a condition called a “reverse block”.
This happens when the air that is expanding during your ascent can’t escape your air space.  The pain is because the surrounding water pressure is now less than the pressure in your air space.  (Remember Boyle’s Law?)
Fortunately reverse blocks are not very common and are often the result of diving with congestion.  This usually happens when the decongestant you’re using runs out during a dive.
Did you forget this part already?  If you have a cold or a sinus problem, don’t dive.
Outer ear pain after a dive is usually the result of equalizing too hard or diving a “yo-yo” or “up and down” dive profile.  This over-stresses your ear and makes you look like an idiot…don’t do that.
This pain can sometimes be relieved by a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and distilled water bath (the ear, not you) followed by a little vitamin E and maybe the odd anti-inflammatory.
Disclaimer:  I am not now nor have I ever been a doctor.  I do not now nor have I ever played one on TV.  I do, however know a doctor but that’s a completely different story and we won’t go into that here.
If you are one of those unfortunate divers who haven’t discovered the Caribbean yet you can also experience a problem with a “too tight hood”  which is either a group of neighbors that are just a little too close or a large piece of neoprene that you pull over your head.
I’m just not sure.
Anyway, if you have problems equalizing with either one of these things you can just pull the hood away from your ears for a second while you equalize.
You can also use a pin to punch a hole in the side of the hood at a spot near your ears so you don’t have to pull on the sides of your hood all the time.
Please tell me you will not do this while the hood is still on your head.

Another air space you need to be aware of is your mask.

If you don’t equalize your mask you could possibly have what is known as a “mask squeeze”.  This can pop the capillaries in the whites of your eyes and results in a really scary thing where all the whites of your eyes turn red.

You can prevent this simply by exhaling through your nose every few breaths.

Luckily for us this is completely painless and goes completely away in just a few days on it’s own.

So if you’re going to do this make sure it’s Halloween and you already have the rest of your Dracula costume.

Happy Diving boys and girls!

spider bite

Posted in day to day on January 8, 2012 by jungle

this spider bite has been in my foot for more than five weeks now and, even though it is slowly healing, it is still a major hindrance in my lifestyle.

for instance:

i can no longer gambol naked along the beach and through the surf during a full moon.

(how’s that for a visual?)

when i walk down the road i look like a geek who’s trying to learn how to pimp walk.

i have to lean to the other side when i wipe my … well, never mind.

every time i try to kick a kitten the wind whistles through the hole in my foot and  throws my aim off.

wait, wait, there’s more!

i can blame my staggering on the bite when i leave the bar.

i’m discovering new pharmaceutical cocktails for reducing inflammation.

(have you ever noticed the way potatoes are ALWAYS staring at you?)

anyway, my foot has been redacted and i’m having trouble adapting to that.

i was hoping at first that maybe i would gain some kind of spidey powers that might prove useful.

not much luck so far but the other night i was sitting on the edge of the bed reading James Michener’s autobiography.

i nodded off (did i mention i was drinking a beer?), dropped the book on my foot and, without even thinking about it, found myself climbing up the wall.

it’s a start.


Samanthas’ 7-11

Posted in day to day on December 18, 2011 by jungle

an institution on this small island is coming to an end.

at least in my barrio.

due to a change of legal ownership of the property the business will be moving to the other end of the island.

as a result, since i walk everwhere, i most likely will not be seeing them very much.


since i showed up here more than 15 years ago the 7-11 has been a source of solace and reward for me.

they’ve always had the very best and most extensive selection of U.S. branded candies and snacks of anywhere on the island.

bar none.

whenever i found my self jonesin’ for a Snickers bar (preferably one that wasn’t melted) Samanthas’ was there.

i believe they were the first store on the island to put the most popular chocolate snacks in the cooler.

an ice cold Magnum (vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and almonds) was my refuge from the heat.



Baleadas stuffed with ground beef, pickled onions and cheese.  the perfect supper after a long day of diving.

Pastelitas for lunch with ice-cold chocolate milk (sometimes frozen).  man…

BBQ chicken and pork chops with refried beans, homemade tortillas and a cabbage salad.

Always friendly, always patient with my bad Spanish, always offering to let me pay later when i forgot my money.

i may have to buy a bicycle after all.


Chili Cookoff

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2011 by jungle

It’s time!

Time for the 6th Annual Driftwood Bar & Grill Chili Cookoff!

This year the money collected goes for Christmas toys for the children of Sandy Bay.

I, personally, will be a judge this year because, frankly, I think it’s time to give someone else a chance to win this thing.

There are, I think, at least a couple of people on this island who are resentful of my continued success and, well, I sincerely feel sorry for them so I guess it’s time to share a little bit of the glory.

As usual the rules include the time-honored no beans, no veggies, and no foo-foo garnishes.

The winning chili will consist only of meat, tomatoes, and spices.

Anyone caught including potatoes (you know who you are), lima beans (you should be ashamed of yourself), or okra (i just don’t know what to say about this) will be summarily disqualified by walking the plank off the Driftwood dock and being pelted with chunks of said potatoes, beans and okra.

And being invited back next year (we’re not a vindictive bunch) for more chili fun.

This years cookoff includes people from all over the world and, as such, is truly an international event so the winner can truly call himself a world champion chili chunker.

There will be copious amounts of name calling, beer slamming, chili chugging, cornbread eatin’, moaning, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

All for one of these:

Ladies and gentlemen unwrap your Tums.

Christmas Toys For Children

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2011 by jungle

During the course of No-shaving-vember seven of stout souls suffered embarrassment, ridicule, harrassment,  and itchy beards.

“Hey!  You need to stand a little closer to your razor.”,  “Need a cat?”,  and “That doesn’t cover nearly enough of your face.”, are phrases I don’t need to hear for a while.

There were 12 guys who started this long road and only seven actually stayed the course.

It was a long, long month.

Myself, JJ, Bruce, Dave, Erik the Swede, Scotty and Brooks completed the challenge.

Two have succumbed to PTSD (Post Traumatic Shaving Disorder) and are currently undergoing a regimen of alcohol and Schedule II pharmaceuticals.

Just to be on the safe side the rest of us are, too.

The end of the month long whisker fest was only the beginning of the pain and humiliation, though.

We also were put on display at Tranquila Bar and our beards were sold to the highest bidder.

Then the torture began.

Armed with dull razors and shears that were dangerously low on battery power the winners of the bidding began their work.

Through the howls, screams, moaning and crying could be heard the cheers and maniacal laughter of the crowd.

Now, with patchy beards, gaping cuts and scarred souls, we have to stay like this for at least three more days before we are allowed to shave normally.

With shaving cream this time.

But we managed to raise more than $600 to buy Christmas gifts for the children of this little island.

And that’s a good thing.

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