Archive for the day to day Category

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. 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.


attack of the arachnoids

Posted in day to day on November 29, 2011 by jungle

so i wake up a couple of days ago ready to greet the day as my usual happy go lucky attitude when i notice something amiss.

i jumped out of bed in gleeful anticipation of the new days glory and almost fell on my butt because of the pain in my foot.

now, as both of you who read this blog know, i’m a pretty tough guy.  it’s going to take more than the loss of a toe to take me down.

i says to myself  “self, whoever put that pain in my toe must be a professional because he put it in exactly the right spot in order to maximize the pain and increase the volume of my little girl screams. i wonder who this could be?”

not being very loquacious i shut up at that point and began the arduous process of examining the offending digit.

right there.  at the base of my toe was a glaring hematoma (get it? …  hema-toe-ma?)  anyway…

…this wasn’t your basic blister.

there was a bite mark right in the middle of it.  not a fiddleback or a black widow.

this was a tarantula bite…a curly brown tarantula bite.

those ungrateful bastards!

i’ve welcomed them into my home (ok, they were here first), swept their competition out of the house, left chopped up, spider bite sized (and i know just how big that is now) vienna sausages out for them, and protected them from the ravages of hurricanes, tropical waves, and blue northers and this is how they repay me.

now i know how the american indians feel about thanksgiving.

this is a clear warning shot across the bow of my manifest destiny.

this morning when i woke up i found the head of my favorite gecko on the pillow next to me.



Posted in day to day on November 27, 2011 by jungle

i was riding with a friend on my way to the Driftwood Cafe fantasizing about ice cold salva vidas and hands down the best burger i’d ever had in my life.

it was a sunny day in early november with a nice steady breeze and just enough cloud cover to keep things cool but not enough to hoo-doo your tan.

all things were right in my world and i couldn’t imagine anything messing it up.

then it happened…out of the corner of my eye…something big…hairy…making unintelligible noises…grunts, growls, groans and moans as it tried to pull the golf cart to a stop.

i thought it was the end…my life started to flash before my eyes.

during the intermission i realized i was still breathing and not in too much pain.

by this time we had pulled into the Driftwood parking lot and everything seemed to be ok.

as i pensively sipped my ice cold salva vida i figured maybe it had all been a dream or a short blast of an haluccinatory experience.  some leftover detritus from a former life.

so i forgot about it.

then Brooks (not his real name) came running in all out of breath.

he took a breath, a slug of beer and said to me and Bruce (not his real name), “OK, guys, a group of us decided to shave and re-grow full beards for charity.”

(that voice…)

“We’re not going to shave for a month and, at the end of the month,  for a donation to the cause, we will shave our beards just the way the winning bidders want us to and not shave any other way until the appointed time.”

(that smell…)

“We will all put in an entry fee in order to be a part of this glorious quest and yea verily any who shall shave their beard before the appointed time shall be held accountable. ”

(there aren’t any mountains here, why is he talking like Moses?)

“The proceeds will go towards buying xmas (yes he said xmas) toys for kids on the island.  Can i have another beer?”

and that is why i have this scraggly, scratchy beard.

can i have another beer?



fun with math

Posted in day to day with tags , , , on November 10, 2011 by jungle

growing up in an orphanage/farm i never could quite understand why adults thought math was so important.

hell, i already knew all the math i was ever likely to need as far as i could see.

11 eggs to a dozen, 13 doughnuts to a dozen, and doing the dozens.

99 cents was all you needed at the dollar store and there was two bits to a quarter (and that was all you needed for a movie, a coke, and a box of popcorn).

i was only 16 and i was all set.

then one day, blissfully unaware that things were about to get more complex than i could ever have imagined, i stumbled into an algebra 1 class.

i had never seen so many strange symbols all at once.  that chalk board was covered with ’em.

now, being raised in Texas (take off your hat) i knew about brands and marks.

i could recognize mr. chisums “jinglebob” and i knew about mr. kings running W.

i knew mr. c.c. slaughters long S and stephen f. austins fanciful F.

but those things on that board just blew me away.

kinda like this:


i love math.




early morning

Posted in day to day with tags , , , , on November 7, 2011 by jungle

you know, i really don’t mind waking up early.

it’s nice to sit and meditate during those hours before the sun finally chases the street lights out of the night and the traffic sounds start.

i’ve discovered that it can be quite entertaining listening to young roosters learn how to crow as they rehearse the words and the melody of their soon-to-be-daily anthem.

as opposed to the discordance of a flock of grackles waking up just a bit later and getting ready to be totally worthless for yet another day.

the rooster has a purpose in the way that he announces the new day letting everyone know that all is right with the world and it’s time to go about the business of life.

grackles are just discordant and annoying.

roosters take me back to a simpler time.

grackles  make me want to grab a 12 gauge automatic shotgun.

i know i should probably be more accepting.

i know i should probably embrace the whole grackle thing and become one with them so i can understand and appreciate their song.

but i haven’t had my coffee yet and this shit is just pissing me off!



Posted in day to day with tags , , on October 19, 2011 by jungle

well, Harold Camping is in the news again.

and he says the world is actually going to end this friday, oct. 21…

you see he made a little mistake in his calculations when he first said the world would end on may 21.

he’s really sorry about all those people who sold their houses and gave him their money but, in actual fact, he is not personally responsible for what people do with their money and he’s not going to give it back.

i wonder if that argument would fly with american express.

anyway, i’m going to act as if it is the real end of the world and drink real beer and eat real barbecue for the next few days.

the problem i have with all of this is that i just got my Course Director Status updated and now i’m not going to be able to use it.


all dressed up and nowhere to go.





small island blues

Posted in day to day with tags , , on August 29, 2011 by jungle

as i took my weekly peregrinations through town today doing my people watching, motorcycle dodging, baleada munching thang i found myself wistfully wishing for a simpler time when one could walk these once friendly pathways barefoot and blind drunk and still make it home without a scratch.

the road was soil and sand back then (except when it was mud and sand) and it felt good on the bottoms of your feet and between your toes.  you were almost always directly connected to mother earth.

it made you feel like you belonged.

it made you feel like you were home.

today it’s different.

today it’s a paved road with potholes, cracks, very little breeze, and a shitload of ATVs, golf carts, scooters, and motorcycles.

not to mention the bicycles and the few crazy people who still think it’s a good idea to walk along a one-lane road filled with three lanes of traffic.

i still haven’t figured out where they’re all going so fast.

it’s a road barely two miles long.

they can’t be in that much of a hurry.

maybe they’re just trying to catch any breeze they can the best way they can in this stifling August heat.

can’t blame ’em.

the good news is, the people haven’t changed, and, as far as i’m concerned, this is still the best place in the world to live.

maybe i’m just getting old.







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