Monday, February 20, 2017

Ya Wanna get Married ?

Well if you do, I've got the place to make it ultra special...and I figure pretty inexpensive compared to the great U.S, of A. where I've heard tell of people spending 40 or 50,000 big ones just on the ceremony and reception. Right next door to us is El Cid Marina where they have an event center on the beach that has to be the busiest marriage spot in Mazatlan. We've seen many of them but this last Saturdays was the nicest ever and with a smaller crowd than usually attend and listen to blaring Banda music until 4:00 a.m. The El Cid people are artist's at the erection of beautiful Pavilions, this is the nicest I've seen , up in a day and down the next.
Is that gorgeous or what ?  The sun is just setting and the music quaffs through the air . When you get off the water taxi you are greeted by Juan and Cindy who have just walked on this aisle to where a flowery trestle sits for the vows.
MPeasy and I actually had a wonderful wedding in the basement of my folks house but it was light years from this shin dig. We happened to be on the water taxi with the events director and I told her how beautiful it was and jokingly said that if I ever get married again we'd.....well ya know it turned out I had this same moment of overflowing sentimentality when we just happened to be at the Tropicana is Las Vegas on our 20th anniversary. I had gone to the wedding chapel and gotten a brochure. I found MP playing video poker in the 5 cent section and I showed her the brochure and asked if maybe she'd like to renew our vows. I got this look that I'm still getting used too after all these years...it's a kinda ' whats the matter with YOU ' look. And then to MP's credit she thoughtfully asked what the cheapest package was and I told here $ 380.00 . She quickly replied " lets split it in half, give me $ 190.00 and I can move up to the 25 cent video poker "....so, wouldn't ya love to be a part of something ;like this baby ?
Speaking of married life.....every guy who's been married ny on forty years like me has heard " what the hell is wrong with your aim " or the infamous " try getting a little bit inside"... So here in Mazatlan they have a simple solution that we should have come up with years ago....yup, a target in the urinal.  And there's even an arrow showing you where to hit for a 10 point  bulls eye. I'm gonna market this baby when I get back to Mile 14 as part of my ' how to happy in marriage in an 800 sq, ft condo for 4 months ' lecture.
mmmmmm.....some how or another I need to sag way into the subject of fish..... I KNOW....if you want to find me just look  for the guitar playing fish on a ground floor ( I prefer ' garden suite ' } unit door . This guy is actually my alter ego, my inner self.
Well that was an amazing lead in....what I really had to say about fish was this ( serious face now )....The Alaska Board of Fisheries started today to deliberate on Cook Inlet and mine and everybody else who fishes has their future at stake. I used to ring lead the charge for fairness against the commercial types but I retired from that and now all I can say to those doing the work is ' Keep THE Faith' brothers. I know a lot you read Mile 14 and I even expect some of you at the ADF+G read it too. So we're many, us Sport people. Our Kings need help. We will have a new policy on how to get the best and biggest on the spawning grounds. Us sport fisherman have a tool called catch and release for our part of that effort.....what do the commercial guys have like that ?.....mmmmm....Right now there is story in on ADN.Com ( Alaska Dispatch News } about Monica Zappa Iditarod racer who ' mushes for a cause' one of which is commercial fishing advocacy . The on-line story has a picture of her in a set net skiff holding up,,,,, yep, you got it.....two large King salmon . They always tell us that they try not to catch them and that red salmon are their bread and butter. The picture is  an ' in your face ' moment I'd say, kinda like getting flipped the bird.  It tells the story, the fish belong to them because they were here first. The fish belong to them because they have the commercial fishing ' culture' The fish belong them to them because sport people ' just play with our food'.... So here;s the deal for all my friends working so hard for all of us, thank you and good luck, we will prevail.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I finally did something really stupid....

Sure did. The other day I got on a scale at the Walmart Store. Now you know how I train for life so you know I lost 10 pounds before jumping the jet to Mazatlan. Well I found it at Walmart. I could kinda tell that I had a little tortilla tummy going on and when it registered 91 kilo I let out a gasp and MP went to giggling, Mmmmmm so I said "it's your turn baby" she said  " pound salt ". Oh well, it's the cost of a good life. To all my friends @ The River City Wellness Center....you'll be seeing a lot of me ( in several different ways ) real soon. Here's the speed-o shot for 2017.
If there's a such thing as a good Dental experience I've found it. I've been going to Francisco Bouttier for years and we're friends. MP and I both needed Crowns , hers was a new one and mine was replacing a failed one. So if you are like us and don't have insurance for your chompers do yourself a favor and pay for your Mexico vacation by having the work done here. Have faith brother it's fantastic . Here's me and Kayole after she finished my crown, I guarantee she's got a big ol smile under that surgical mask. We listen to rock and roll, we talk politics, we talk family, it's just fantastic ­čśĆ.
When I write that book about guiding / fishing and the secrets of struggling feet first into a happy life I'm going to allocate one entire chapter to gill nets. I've been haunted by them my entire life. Right now the beach fishing here is so slow people who have less stamina than me are giving up. There's just very few fish around so why not just stretch 1/4 mile of net from my house to Cerritos and catch the rest of them. This was it this morning, you can see the high flyer and the net was just at our casting range. It was so long that they were still pulling it after I fished for two hours.
But when you see this next pic I think you'll agree...I might not catch a lot of fish lately but when I do they have personality. This guy here was the knarliest, toothiest, hard fighting critter I've ever caught. He had that long beak with sharp long teeth and he was trying to bend in half like an eel and get me. If he hadn't had a 200 peso Mirro Lure in his mouth I'd have cut the line and forgotten the surgery part....and did I mention he stunk ? , no kidding his slime smelled like something that came out of my refrigerator when I lived on 5th Ave with Rick Sewell.  I looked him up and he's a ' Snake Mackerel' and a huge one at that according to the book.....maybe I let my first world record go ???/
Team X's point man my friend Slah Sahli has been building a restaurant . I've learned so much about surf fishing and Muslim life and Mazatlan from him and now I've learned that you need to save room if you eat at Ara Mex.  We went on the first day he was open and he still was waiting for ingredients for the Arab part of his menu but the Mexican was fantastic. Here's his sign with the address and all, tell him you're a Team Xer.
Here's a pic of the interior with Slah doing something or other. He and Maria renovated a derelict building right next door to Topolo one of Mazatlan's nicest places. Ara Mex is sterile like clean and has a courtyard although we ate inside.
MP and I both had Mexican plates. Mine was Carne Asada and MP's was Pollo. Here's a pic of our new friend Chef Jesse with our food and me and her sharing some love over the flowers we brought.
It was just perfect for me. Here's a close up . I've been on an avocado rich diet so genuine Guacamole was a nice surprise to go with my meat and enchilada....that sauce is to die for as they say in the paper's food section. Fresh tortilla's of course and Jesse followed up with a rice pudding desert when I thought we were done.  Congratulations Slah, Maria and Jesse....we wish you the best and we're in your corner buddy.
The other morning as I fished at 6:30 a.m. it was crazy still out , All I could hear was the motion of the ocean. The fog was thick enough that I  couldn't see where my lure landed....guess the fish couldn't either....but...it was just magic . The tide was building and each wave would just barely wash to the flat that the last tide had left. Then it would run parallel with the beach looking for a low area to return with. It was really just another moment on the beach but I just felt so good I took a short video.....please watch and pretend you're there....and I wish you were.
Don't think just because I'm writing about sun up that I don't like the sunsets. But I must admit a bias for the morning when there's always new hope and freshness. A couple nights back I almost got a perfect ' naval assist' so I figured I'd better share it. It's not sunset on Mazatlan 2017 yet but we're just a couple weeks out from returning to the frozen north....which is just fine with us. MP says I could stay longer as she has work to do and my fishing season is still a few months off....But nope, I ain't doing that and miss my friend Mike Sweeney's St. Patrick Day Parade....See ya soon Slowdotna.

Monday, February 6, 2017

How's about the Super Bowl !!!

That pic of my fishing buddy Alejandro tells the fishing story pretty darn well I'd say.  I kept putting off doing a blog post at Mile 14 figuring that I'd catch a fish tomorrow....or the next tomorrow....or...The way it's going my very next fish could well be a salmon from the Kenai river come June, we WILL work through this slump one way or another,

But last Monday Tim had to jet back to Iowa so we fished the last day at our favorite rocks in the Gold Zone. I had to leave early as our maid comes every Monday at 9:00 and around here you gotta clean everything up for the maid so she doesn't think you're a slob . We have a Canadian women who is the Administrator here and likes to think she runs the building....wrong, the maids run the building, But I digress....no sooner had I left Tim to go clean than he hit this beautiful Snook, his first one ever. I was and still am stoked for him because I remember how long it took me to get my first good one. The way it goes tim is like this...one down 100 more to go eh ? Nice work.
So I still fish every morning and quit when I'm good and cold, this morning I lasted 1 1/2 hours. You know you've been in Mexico a while when you get cold when it's in the high 50's and low 60's. I feel like a local almost. Then I get a nap and do some reading and then I usually take a hike and then I work up a new song on the guitar and then we watch Alaska Bush people or Zeke and
Emily floundering around trying to get gold. Here's list of my books so far.
1. Old Man's War....about the stupidest science fiction ever where they fight in space with old people who are given young bodies....I'm keeping mine.
2.War at Sea...an actual text book about Naval warfare in WW 2,,,,,boy howdy that baby took some discipline.
3. Book of the 7 Seas.....really cool all about the discovery's and everything you ever need to know about the oceans....marine life, marine geology, ancient sea battles and boats.....cool stuff.
4. Positively False.....Floyd Landis's account of how he won the Tour De France...he says he didn't do it, I don't believe him.
5.Gray Mountain.....John Grisham, pretty darn slow if you ask me.
6.New Jack....I guy wants to write about prison guards in Sing Sing Prison and they won't let him research the subject so he goes to the Academy and then becomes one. After the book he better tow the line and not end up in that place .
7. The Lion's Gate....personal stories from the guys who waxed all the Arab's during Israel's 6 day war  that actually went 7 days....did you know that Israel is only the size of New Jersey ?
8. Rose....a novel by Martin Cruz Smith about the coal industry in England during the Industrial Revolution....Gorky Park and Polar Star were both so good that I read it just because it Martin Cruz Smith....y0u can skip this one,
9. The Last Vampire....Whitley Strieber who owns the end of the world story's. Weird , but good.
10. The Peninsula Clarion......weird, but good.

So you can see I'm staying busy. We've got exactly four more weeks before we land back at Mile 14 of the world famous. I can tell we're getting close because MP seems to be quieter than usual and when she does talk it sometimes starts out with.....' what's wrong with you'....Well nothing really. So far I'm really doing well. I haven't been sick except for the usual dose or two of ' tourista' and I have yet to do anything stupid AND I'm getting along with everybody, even the A Team that everybody just ignores.
Next time I play at the bar I'll ask MP to take a video or two and post them. For some reason Mexico is really good for my creativety.....Sorry about a little delay in my Mile 14 post's. On Friday the internet finally got fixed. We were hanging out reading and the most unusual thing happened....the phone rang and I new that Telmex's man had finally arrived. He said he would come sometime between 9 a.m. Monday and April.  More corrosion on the street connection was the story. In the 3 months we've been here it's been down for almost an entire month and by all rights we should get our bill credited for that. mmmmmmm, I got the feeling that ain't gonna happen.
That's how I'm feeling......

Monday, January 30, 2017

Stranded

That's how I am feeling here. For the second time in Mile 14 history I am doing a post from my iPhone app. With my Internet down in the condo again I am feeling a little lucky because I have the AT&T cell phone program working fine from ALASKA. But there's something just kind of weird about sitting under a palapa and talking to a phone while watching the waves roll in.

Team X is a little short handed, Ernie left yesterday and Tim jumps the jet today leaving me without adult supervision.
I'm now on the one fish a week plan so there's my last catch which is a really nice pargo of 7 pounds or so. This guy and its doppelg├Ąnger which Tim caught was the entire weeks harvest.

In the ' what's happening in mexico dept ' I took this pic at the plaza the other night. One gal had a blindfold on and the others held bi lingual signs saying ' if you believe in the goodness of humanity give me a hug'....and many' many, people were.
I took thi pic at one of our favorite spots. You might remember that we had our anniversary last year at the restaurant El Tunnel....well this is the tunnel that leads to an open air diner that is soooo cool.
That fish tails are cheaper to mount I suppose.... 
I came across this sign outside a local Tienda and I'm gonna take a chance here and mercifully end this blog post at the same time . Ya gotta admit that advertising is a bit unusual and unusual is what we're on the hunt for here at Mle14 , make up your own caption
As soon as Telmex makes their 4th visit to our house I'll post again. I have some cool video of the Mazatlan Women's Run....I hope you come back.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Real / Fake news

When the staff here at Mile 14 heard that one about the state of affairs in this big ol fish pond they went into executive session to try and figure out what it all means for people like us. Of course opportunity is everywhere these days and after a few Pacifico's and an hour in the Hot tub the editorial department came up with a third designation....we have Real news, we have Fake news and at Mile 14 we have Really Fake news....but the Mile 14 people have been way ahead of the current trends, we've been on the cutting edge of that deal for years, after all even at the Kenai River Guide Academy they had a segment on posing fish, rounding off weights and totals and the 'one that got away '....you know , fisherman code for ' boy did I screw that up '.
There's a pic of me me holding up at 28 pound Pargo I caught the other day.  200 people on the beach witnessed this catch and boy did I feel like Tiger Woods with a gallery of on lookers.  It's a good thing I'm a retired Body Builder because I held that fish like that for 25 minutes while my personal assistant ( who is also a professional photographer ) tried different angles and aperture settings. If you remember my goal for this year was a huge Pargo so now I'm shifting my goals to catching a Marlin from the beach...
I gave MP a  day off and she decided to go to the Casino figuring we could use another cash injection like the 2 one hundred dollar bills I found in the road a while back. Well that woman is lucky , lucky , lucky.....she was playing 20 lines and only a few minutes into the session that Medussa vrs Supeman Machine just started a singing. The racket went on for a good ten minutes and when it quit the Mile 14 crew on a holiday was up over 30,000 Centavo's....that's right 30,000 . Now I know she don't look all that happy in the picture but it's only because the security was just approaching me with that same ol  ' no, no . no camera's in the casino senor deal '.
Is that a sweet ride or what ? Well, I'm in negotiations to buy that Ford Falcon for the crew here at Mile 14 Latin America Bureau. They kinda figure that being mobile might make for better reporting and help ease the stress over meeting those brutal deadlines. Problem is that the owner fit a 426 Mustang motor into it and I kinda feel like that if I'm dropping that much lettuce on a classic car it oughta be original. This guy just doesn't understand how 6 cylinders could be better that 8.  I told him that in this new news climate ya just can't be making things up. When people look you car up on Wikipedia and it says 6 cylinder with 3 on the tree it better be 6 cylinder with three on the tree.
There's my new luggage set. I got it at a garage sale a guy from Calgary was having. What a deal. I got it for only 20 bucks USA which is 30 Canadian. Pure genius, I started out with an offer in Peso' s and then shifted him to U.S. currency when he got a bit confused doing the math. This stuff is gonna come in real handy at the next Bonspieler I compete in.
There's another pic of my personal assistant, boy has she been busy. I know it looks a lot like she and our friend Cindy are at some kind of weird protest march or demonstration but that couldn't be farther from the ' real' truth. That's actually a self portrait acrylic on canvas piece that MP did back in the 1970's while studying under the famous Paula Weller at the University of Montana. Those girls are all smiles because a lady just bought it for 4000 peso because she thinks it's Madonna. Wow, another big cash injection to keep the engine that is Mile 14 running...way to go girls.

Did I ever tell you about the carpenter I worked with once that told me he was a lead man on the Pyramid of Cheops project  ??????

And then there was the guy I worked with that  invented the scissor truss....mmmmmm.....

Add your ' REALLY FAKE NEWS ' here :                                                                      

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fishing experts

You know how I feel about those Robalo, they're just the best. so was I ever enthused when Ern caught about the nicest one I've ever seen.....Team X has been kind of languishing. Our ringleader Slah is building a restaurant so he's to busy to fish much and some of the guys aren't here and some aren't fishing because, well, the fishing has been dead dog slow. But if you cast enough and work enough and stay upbeat enough...magic.
Ern said it was a big one and the way things have been going I didn't want any 'schamoozles' so I set down my gear satchel and laid my rod on top of it and grabbed my little gaff hook. This fish took forever and when we finally new what it was we almost in unison said holy @#&##*....So finally it comes time for the coup de gras and Ern picks the right wave and rides him a good ways up the beach. As he comes up the beach I position myself between ol slimey and the water when the inevitable happens.....kerr snap, line breaks. Not really surprised as Ern is fishing with the light gear and just the added tension on being dry makes the hook spit or the line break quite often. Many a time I've seen the fish escape by swimming right back down the beach on the next wave.  I hear Ern let out an OH NO and I tell him I got it Ern and I stabbed him as the next wave pushed him down to me.....duck soup.  You can see where I gaffed him right through the gills and the green rubber swimfish that killed him, an oh Ern says the lure cost 50 cents....Canadian.
Man was I impressed with these fish experts me and MPeasy came across on our early walk on Olas Atlas.  They had a huge Corvina as well as several Skipjacks and Pargo. You can see the elevation we're at and I've often thought the structure would hold fish but the rocks are impossible, right ? Wrong...as I use my Spainglish skills and a good bit of humor I find out they have a rock just a bit lower that they safely get to and then the secret is ,,,,a young guy. You can barely see him on the right but he's equipped with an 6 foot gaff hook and the nimbleness of a Dall Sheep. Here's the rock they fish from.
Fish experts #3.....Holy Moly.....a 125 pound Marlin in a 16 foot boat. These guys are like ' The Old Man and the Sea ' material. Tony had been out the same day and saw Marlin at twelve miles which is actually really close as they are normally at 20 or 25. I was lucky enough to catch them when they showed up to sell the catch and check out their boat, It had a fairly new but well used 40 horse 4-stroke Mercury on it and the gear was all serviceable but far from new and they just seemed real comfortable with what they do...pretty cool....Steady is about the biggest compliment I give to people and you could just tell these guys fit the word ' Steady ' perfectly.
I spotted this guy right in the middle of the day on the roof of an apartment building right on the main drag of the Gold Zone. I only took one pic as I didn't want him to see me seeing him as I take to heart the advice my Mexican friends have given me about safety and that is ' don't get involved in anything here in Mazatlan'. But MP and I watched him from a distance for several minutes and there was no doubt about what he was doing.....looking over the ledge into apartment after apartment with a mirror on a stick, we could even see the reflection of it. Ya sure don't want to rifle a house just to find out they don't have a flat screen t.v. I guess.
People come to Alaska wide eyed with dreams and until I got here I used to think it was a place with more than the  usual amount of  broken dreams. In Alaska you see unfinished houses and stacked logs that never got any further.  Here there are countless buildings in different stages of construction with rebar running wild and things left to fall down. I took this pic of the beach stairs on a high rise Condo building in the Gold Zone....if the rest of the building was put together the same as these stairs it's no wonder the project stopped.....dreams interrupted.
The exchange rate for the American dollar is almost ridiculous. I don't know whats fueling it or even how it could be true but the values here in Mazatlan for Americans is crazy. The Canadian Looney is up as well against the Peso but not like our Dollar. We had some friends coming over so I went to the beer store and this is what ten bucks gets ya. I think it's a wonderful thing for us but I hope it's not lost on anybody that it's probably not so good for our Mexican friends. The Ballena's are about 3 twelve ouncers and a nice bottle of Chardonnay ....or something kinda like it.
We walked 3 miles for this coconut. I guess I'm getting to be a bit local as I eat them the same ways as the locals...squish lime over it entero and then a generous pour of salsa picante...oh baby.
Tonight me and a couple other musicians are going to play in the bar for the building. Somehow somebody thought it would be fun to have a night of  ' easy listening ' music' , mmmmmm,,,,, well 'easy' and my name don't usually collide in the same sentence so it oughta make a good story next week,,,,,,keppee yiiii yeeehhh
'








Friday, January 6, 2017

Isle De La Piedra

It ain't really an island, it's a peninsula across the harbor from town that is crazy popular mostly because there's just not much to do there. The place underlines the secret's of beach life like ' the problem with doing nothing is that you never get done ' ...and wouldn't know it if you did. So me and MPeasy   migrated on the day everyone else in Mazatlan shuns, Cruise Ship Day....you know me , I LIKE PEOPLE.
As you can see it's a happening place. For 1/2 mile down the beach is palapa restaurant after palapa restaurant, maybe 30 of them total and everyone has their favorite. You know how I am about loyalty, so we always go to Rudy's but this day Rudy was resting and his wife was in charge. The food wasn't very good, the service wasn't very good and .....it was perfect. We played Scrabble to a draw and watched the show....Here's a Stone Island selfie.
On the water taxi over I came across my kinda guys. They were trolling the lures with oars even though they had a nice new Yamaha 4-stroke bolted on, didn't want to scare the fish anymore than they already were I'd guess. Ahhhhh, just like the Budget Charters days of old, " hey Neil, how's about bailing some of that water while I work on the motor ". Pass the life jackets please.
When I was a kid me and my brother were skiing Mach 1 at Breckinridge Co, It's reputed to be the steepest run in the west, like a quadruple diamond. Well we stop to rest and I see a runaway ski flying down the hill with a boot in the binding and leg up to the knee....yikes....so only a few times in my life have I wondered if the poor guy would lose his leg and got to wondering that same thing  at Stone Island....Now I can see taking you leg off for this or that but your pants too ?....just caught my eye, that's all.
Being the first guy on the beach every morning means I find all the goodies. If you've followed this blog you remember the Russian Binoculars and the commercial fishing High Flyer. Well the other morning I found the best and biggest and most perfect shell ever. It's exactly like the expensive ones they sell at Sea Shell City ( say that real fast 3 times....I dare ya ) My friend Mark's mom told me she had a shell collection from every beach she's been on, Hawaii, Phuket, Australia etc. so I gifted this guy to her for her Mazatlan collection and boy did she like it.
So I was feeling pretty good about myself and the beach rewarded me with an almost perfect ' naval assist' sunset. I took three pics and one of them has the sail almost perfect in the old bulls eye but I picked this one to publish because I like the two heads bobbing around in the foreground. I'll bet your thinking that ol guide #003 took Photography in College like my friend Roy Morris but nope....it's just plain simple good luck that seems to follow me.
 This last pic is my attempt to carbon copy a famous album cover by the Beach Boys. I'll bet you remember seeing it, the four guys are wearing red and white surfer shirts and each one is looping their arms over a long board in unison as they head for the beach. Mine is just the same except that it's just me, short board, muscle shirt, country music and some imagination, same deal, right ?
Well she's got her daddy's car and she's cruising through the hamburger stand now.
Seems she forgot all about the library like she told her old man now.
And with the radio blasting goes a cruising  just as fast as she can now.
And she'll have fun , fun , fun till her daddy takes her T-Bird away.....