Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Sorry guys, I've been writing books
and not so much my blog.
It's a LOT of work!

All 3 of my books are now up on Amazon/Kindle and Smashwords
(a wholesaler who sells ebooks in 32 countries)
and available for download to any digital ebook reader including computer.

"Emergency Medical Spanish for Travelers"
(English/Spanish language guide for medical emergencies)

"Things That Make You Go Hmmmm"
(a humorous 'only in Mexico' pictorial)

 "Take Next Boat.  Get Married.  Not Coming Back.  Love Larry." 
(a memoir of my parents love story in Hawaii - 1936 
with pictures of them and their life in old Hawaii, and
featuring letters my mother wrote home to CA)


All books are on sale for $.99 US except "Take Next Boat"
will be a free download from Smashwords for the following 48 hours. . .
then it will go up to the princely sum of $.99 also.  
Download it for free at - type 'Take Next Boat'
in the search box and it will come up for you to download.
If you download the other 2 books please buy them from
Amazon/Kindle rather than Smashwords.  


Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Rainy Season June 2012



Crashing thunder and all-night heavenly light shows 
followed by torrential downpours alternating with episodes of light rain.
The raging river to the lake that surges just a little toooooo close to my house 
has this morning reverted back to being a street again. 

Green is everywhere! 
Broccoli covered mountains that turn lavender in the evening with the sunsets,
crisp cool air, big tufts of iridescent green grass between the cobblestones,
and free pasture banquets for the cows and horses line the streets
and highways. 

The aroma of a savory pot of split-pea soup simmering
on the stove and homemade gluten-free corn bread
baking in the oven.

No snowbirds, no sunbirds, no tourists, no crowds, no traffic - 
just us tough old stalwarts and the Mexicans
reuniting and enjoying each others company once again. 

I so love it here! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hike The PCT With Joe Telles June 2012

Hey!  Joe!
We're hiking along with you!

One of my former co-workers,
retired San Bruno firefighter Joe Telles,
embarked on his # 1 bucket list dream
this spring:
He is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from
Mexico to Canada - 2650 miles, btw.
Well, at least that's the plan!
Follow along and see if he makes it.

I think he'll make it,
what do you think???

Joe is now in Vermillion Valley,
about 900 miles into it,
and you can follow along with him
as he candidly documents his struggles and
his joys in this trail journal:

I've got blisters on me feets from just reading it!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Food - One of My Greatest Passions - Part 2 June 2012

OK, since you guys liked Penny so much,
I have another treat for you.

This is Karen Shinto
a Bay Area food stylist!

Food artist!  
Simply amazing.

I was going to add her
to the last post
but decided it might steal
a little of Penny's well-deserved
Karen deserves a post all her own.


Photo courtesy of Occupy Monsanto

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Food - One of My Greatest Passions June 2012

Meet my hands-down favorite food
and foodista:

Penny de los Santos

Here she is on Ted Talk reporting
on photographing a meal at the end of Ramadan in 
war-torn Lebanon with eight Iraqi refugees.
She was on assignment.

And here is her website,
click on her portfolio for
unbelievably clever
photos of unbelievably
beautiful food!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

¡Ya Basta! No More Violence!


It's a bad day today.
It's Mother's Day - in Mexico -
and we should be happy. Celebrating!
We are not.

Maria and Mario Paz Garcia
in their restaurant Mario's.
Great food, great service, and really
nice people.

This morning the church bells pealed the
death knell and this couple received notice
that their son - and only child - was among
the 14 or more bodies found stuffed into two vehicles
along the highway connecting Guadalajara
and Lake Chapala.

He and 2 of his friends were playing basketball
on the Ajijic malecón about a week ago when they were
snatched at gunpoint.
No demand was ever uttered.

Abel Paz Encisco was the director of the
Balet Folklorio San Antonio Tlayacapan
and engaged to be married.

Descanse en Paz, Abel.

What a friggin' waste.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Small Story About Giving May 2012

Here is a small story
that has come to me from
Jack Kornfield

by way of Anne Lamott -
By far, one of my favorite writers.


An eight year old boy had a six year old sister
who was dying of leukemia.
His parents explained to him that she needed
a blood transfusion or she would die.

They told him that she needed a donor
and that his blood was probably compatible
to hers.
They asked him if he would be willing to donate
a pint of blood to his sister
as it could be her only chance of living.

He said he would have to think about
it overnight.

The next day he went to his parents
and said he was willing to donate his blood.

They took him to the hospital where he was
placed on a gurney alongside his sister.

The IVs were started and a pint of blood
was withdrawn from the boy and
transfused into his ailing sister.

As the blood dripped into his sister,
the boy lay in silence 
until the doctor came over
to ask him how he was doing.

The boy opened his eyes and said,
"How soon until I start to die?"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where There's a Will. . .There's a Way! April 2012

Cihuatlán, Jalisco library - on the hoof.

Compliments the Cihuatlán, Jalisco FB website.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

¡Feliz Pascua! - Happy Easter! April 2012

Every year at this time,
the Lake Chapala area hosts
thousands of visitors
for the two week Easter blowout celebration
known as Semana Santa.

The Passion Plays of Ajijic
and San Antonio Tlayacapan
are one of our biggest attractions and
go on for days with elaborate costumes
and sets.  
They take place in the church and the
streets of the villages.  
The "crucifixion" of Christ 
used to take place up on the mountain
and everyone hiked it the blazing sun
while Jesus dragged a giant cross
made of wooden 4X4s.
They had to relocate the scene due to
one year Jesus fainting 4 times on the way up.
The carrying of His body down in an
elaborate procession accompanied by the
the droning slow beat of a lone mournful drum
is VERY emotional.
The acting is wonderful.

This year I walked the Palm Sunday Procession
in my little village of San Antonio Tlayacapan.
Here are a few pictures.

The posters were up; excitement was in the air.

Sunday morning we found the players assembling in
front of the church and under the Jacaranda trees.

Townspeople made handicrafts commemorating
Palm Sunday and sold them for 15 pesos/about 1.15US.
Palm branches were handed out to everyone.

The faithful trickled in and we assembled
waiting for Jesus and the the Padre to arrive.

The kids are ALWAYS the cutest.

Jesus arrives.

The Padre, the guitarist, the sound system, and the
altar boys arrive.


We pause for blessings.

Villagers join the procession as we pass
along the narrow cobbled streets.

Live scenes are scattered along the route.

The procession has swelled!

Awaiting Jesus's arrival at the church.

Jesus arrives and Mass begins.


Post Script:
This year, and for the last several years, Jesus was
portrayed by a young man from the village who,
in his real life, is an insurance agent. . .
which lead my friend Barb to comment. . .
You may have God as your copilot,
but I have Jesus as my insurance agent!
I win.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Presenting - THE ONE - THE ONLY - Mexican Sled Dog Team - in the World! Mar 2012

I had the great and good fortune to
be invited to join this team on one of their
training excursions down here on Lake Chapala.
You can imagine what fun I had!

Meet Cris and Cintia. . .

Since 1993 Captain Cristobal de Obeso Aguilar, 47,
has been breeding, training, and racing a team of
16 Siberian Husky sled dogs —
out of Guadalajara, Mexico!

His team is the first Mexican team to be a member of the
prestigious International Sled Dog Racing Association
and they have raced in Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin,
and even on an Indian reservation in Arizona.
How about those credits, pretty impressive, huh?

In his real life, Cris is a corporate private jet pilot
who looks forward to
doing much more sled dog racing in the near future.
After spending a few hours with Cris and Cintia and the team,
it is very apparent that for Cris it really is ALL about the dogs.

The dogs are trained 3 times a week in Guadalajara
pulling a cart on a track, and here at Lake Chapala
swimming behind a boat for 60 minutes.

Let's meet the dogs!
Today, there were 13.

One by one they were loaded into the boat
and attached to the gang-line that had
already been rigged.

Meet Francisco, the unofficial Chapala Harbor Master
and the man to know regarding all-things boat
and all-things Lake Chapala.

Francisco manned the boat and helped tend the dogs, 
keeping them safely away from the propeller at all times. 
No easy feat!


Off we go.

One by one they were tossed overboard.

We slowly motored off - and they followed.

Well, all except for Canelo.
Just not much of a follower, this guy.
Canelo thought Scorpion Island looked
like a better place to swim for.
See that little dot?

There were a couple of 'arguments' in the water as one
perceived some grave injustice had been committed but Cris was 
able to break them up just by yelling at them.

Of the 13 dogs, only 2 were female.
And of the 13 dogs, 2 had to stay in the boat for most of
the time as they were inclined to only swim back to shore
rather than join the pack and follow the boat.
 They could only be released on the way back.

In the 6 years that Cris has been doing this,
they have only suffered one fatality, a drowning.

Cris, Cintia, and Francisco never took their eyes off the dogs
or off the clock.

After an hour, it was time to bring the dogs in.

One by one they were hauled back in the boat.

Thirteen wet dogs means lots of water in the boat.

Heading back.

One by one they're loaded back in the truck.

That's all folks!

Cris can be reached at: