Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 resolution....

is going to be....JEFF BE've got a good life, act like you want to keep it ! See that nice little Robalo in the pic below ? well that fish could easily have been the last of my life, no kidding, I was fishing the rocks this morning and sight casted this little guy and was kinda proud of myself. I got him right below  and like routine I went to just lift him straight  up the 10 or 12 feet to me and he came off the hook....and laid there wedged in some rocks. I actually took a bit of time and thought about it and took my satchel off and laid my rod down and made the first step down alright and then slipped and first fell on my side and then believe it or not went head first another 6 feet or so bouncing off  ragged boulders  and into the water. If I look anquished in this pic it's because I am. I'm a little scared, a little relieved and a whole lot humbled. I could have broken my neck. And I actually thought that, as I climbed up I was relieved to be able to move.
Here's pic of my noggin 6 hours ago when Tony and MP cleaned me up. I'm certain I have broken ribs, breathing is painful and difficult. The entire right side of my face is swollen and now 6 hours later it's REALLY swollen. My hip and left shoulder have hematoma and I have scrapes and scratches , to many to name. But I'm whole and think I'll be alright, we have a new hospital close by and any signs of breathing difficulty or the such and we'll be there. Just another lesson learned, my whole life it's been the hard way....And I'm embarrassed by it.
When we got here I brain farted my way into needing a new atm card. I got a really nice lecture from a lady at the Alaska USA Credit Union helpline...She asked me " Mr. King, why would you put in an improper pin number time after time knowing it won't work ?"....then she reassured me that MP's card was not effected and when I told her that the problem with that was that now my wife has all the power she said " well Mr. King, try being nice to her " . Yikes. So they take my address down and send me a new card and a new pin. It's a miracle it arrived. I spelled the entire deal out for her....'tennis' as in the sport, 'yacht' as in a the boat, Mazatlan....on and on and on...this how it came addressed.
You know you've arrived as a semi-local when you can go down the chicken aisle at the market or the local Pescaderia without getting a little quesy. Here's a pic of me and Slah with our fillet artist ready to go to work on our catch after a trip north.
Team X got 15 nice Corvina. It took me two hours to finally get a good hook up but I rallied and caught a few. Slah got about 8 or 9 and Ernesto got one on the first cast. Our friend Stan had a mombo hooked and fought it so long it finally separated. These fish , just like the Robalo that tried to kill me this morning have a uniquely soft mouth and when hooked on the side they wear a big hole, we lose a lot of them. Here we are having Comida and a pic of some friends cleaning off their catch.
Ever since we arrived we've wanted to go a Venado ( Mexican Pro League) baseball game. The trouble is they all start at 8 p.m. which is ahhhh....well.....difficult for us. But I'm no dummy so I go to the official Venado web page and on Dec. 4th a game starts at 6 we go and the day was actually the 5th. Then the next and only remaining 6 p.m. start was on the we are at the game, it started at 5 p.m. so we got there for the 4th inning. That's just the way things work around here, ya gotta be cool man. Oh, we won 8-1 .
Sunday morning we were in the Colonia of Juarez for the market. I guess you've arrived when you can eat the wonderful street food and only get a little claustrophobic in the mass of humanity. Here's a pic of me and MP having breakfeast tacos. I finally found the right taco sauce. One thing I learned  is that the green sauce that makes you think it's avocado is actually the super nova hottest of them all and it'll ruin you for a day. But this guy had green sauce that really was avocado and man oh man it fantastic.... and hows about buying an entire chicken for 3 bucks ?
The day before I caught these 3 pargo I had a new friend named Pepe show me how to downsize to smaller plastic and just let them free float through the tidal pools under the rocks that tried to kill me today. I got lucky and pulled one after another up and Pepe said ' good job' and I said ' well Pepe you are my teacher ' and he said....' yes, that was a big mistake most gringos don't learn so well '.
On Christmas eve me MPeasy and Tony did our luminary display again, a gift to the building. When I was a kid the neighborhood did them and I guess it just stuck with me. So here we are , smiley the salmon. Someone said to me....'oh no Jeff, more fish ????? and I said 'yup, Merry Christmas'.
All of us here at Mile 5014 wish you a Happy , healthy and prosperous New Year. I'm not kidding, I'm resolving to grow up and be more deliberate in my actions. I wish you luck with any modifications you have planned for the New is work in progress eh ? And they say a picture is worth a 1000 words so here's how I feel about you, me , MPeasy, Max and Sam and the circle of life.....oh, I found it out surf fishing of course.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Feliz Navidad

I tried to get my running partner to sit on my lap for this pic but the mall was full of people and she just couldn't...but you know me, I'm unembarassable ....hows that for new word to fit a guy like me ?
So in between all the good tidings and holiday cheer that I'd like for all of you I thought I'd post just a few pics of how we do Christmas here at Mile 5,014 .  Our neighbors  Jerry and Georgie have a unique tree, I kinda like the non traditional colors. around here you even see blue colors for Santa and his helper....I always new Santa was a liberal....but we won't go into that right now.
When we purchased our condo it came equipped with everything and I mean everything you'd ever need. The previous owner, our friends Darwin and Gerrie Smith liked their comforts and ol Smitty is a guy who just keeps building and building, we have a home made tree which is twisted coat hangers. Next to the tree is package for Kenai Guide #003 that looks like it could be a really cool mini powered speaker so when I sing Robert Earl Keen's Christmas song tonight my friends won't have to concentrate on the'll be loud and clear...10-4.
If you like Pointsetas, and who doesn't, Mazatlan might be the red flower capital of the world. They are everywhere. Here's our lobby fountain for example....
 Isn't it a great feeling that sometimes during the season of love somebody does something to make you love them even more ???  We brought Alaska Sea Salt for gifts and we're salting around a lot of smoked salmon but MPeasy has got the deal going on. After we surprise the building tonight with our luminary show she's going to put these custom , genuine Mazatlan beach rocks on our friends door steps.
And talk about luck, last night when we got home from having a barbecued Octopus supper with our friends the Radke's from Soldotna Alaska we ran into my buddy Juan. Juan was having Cerveza and had his net out in front of the building as me and MP went to watch the stars like we like to do. I negotiated a catch for today and like always our friend came through. He was out diving Oysters when he saw me return from fishing and swam in and we made the deal.....mucho Gracias Juan.
So tonight it's our traditional oyster stew and we'll have fresh Langosta as well as a salad plate with lots of avacado, a nice bottle of wine and of course great fellowship with my friend Tony coming over. Then we'll light our new traditional lumanaries and sing a few songs and walla.... a perfect Christmas....and we wish one for all of you too....Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The bites on...

For Mazatlan that is....yesterday saw a new record of not one, not two, not three but four cruise ships dock all in the same day. 13,000 citizens of the planet off loaded and enjoyed this wonderful city. It's great for Mazatlan as the Cruise Ship Company's by-passed us for several years pointing out safety concerns from a few unfortunate events.
It's kinda funny that you hear from some of the jaded part time residents things like this....' cruise ship day, good day to stay home' . and it's true that the city is full and the sidewalks crowded and that's exactly why me and MP went to town, we wanted to be part of the energy. the Gold Zone had it's first ever sidewalk art show and although off to a slow start we went and supported the folks. At one time there were 3 blocks of cabs, vans and buses lined up like a choreographed parade.....pretty cool. I hope these two pics show a bit of it.
So a huge part of the commerce of this part of Mexico is back and I hope back to stay. The vendors where selling their wares. We went to Playa Mazatlan for a sandwich and the place was full and I have to admit there was no denying the entrepreneurial spirit was about this for a business model ????
 In the small world department I was reading the Mazatlan Messenger and they announced that a stunt show called X-Pilots was coming to town. The article said world class riders from Germany, Mexico, Australia, the USA and Alaska would perform....well I ain't Inspector Closeau but the way they separated Alaska from the United States I had a hunch that it could  mean only one thing...Jimmy ' Blaze' Fejes was in town, and sure enough I was right. Being old friends of the family it was ultra cool. Here's a pic of Jimmy flipping a quad last Sunday right here in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico.
This baby at the local Radio Shack caught my eye. It's a guitar amp / P.A. / Karaoke / DJ machine and of course SD cards/ CD's / Records/ Cassettes...just about every thing. AND it's gotta soul baby.....MP wouldn't let me buy it...' we're remodeling the kitchen'.....
So this morning me and Ernesto meet at at rocks up Cerritos a mile or so. Yesterday I caught several large Toro and had a huge snapper saw me off on the rocks....So.... I'm geared up with the big rod and set to cast long and hard. Ern shows up with the short light rod and stands in one place while I walk and cast, walk and cast , walk and cast and..... he catches this. I catch notta.
But I did scratch out another nice Pargo a couple days back so we're not having to live on Chicken like we do at Mile 14. In fact the staple here are Shrimp, fish, Avocado's, Arracharra and ahhhh Pacifico of course.
In fact Cerveza is such a staple around here why not make it the centerpiece of your Currier and Ives Christmas... I like it.... So from Mile 5014 me and MPeasy wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you have all the health, love and success you can handle in 2016....we love every single darn one of ya and thanks for making Mile 14 a small part of your lives.

Friday, December 11, 2015

This place ain't for everybody....

but it's just right for me. A lot of people would have freaked out when their cupboards fell off the wall after having the backs ate out of them by termites. And I have to admit if  you had told me that Mexico has termites that can bore through concrete walls I would have called b.s. . But they can and they do, particle board is like termite candy so the next cupboards are going to be hand made Cedar and will look a bit nicer than this....I'm just glad MPeasy wasn't washing dishes when they finally colapsed...they literally fell off the wall....unbelieving...
That picture right there is a mini-split and all of our years here at mile 5014 we had never needed it for cooling but we had used it a lot for heat. So.... we show up and it 90 degrees with 90 % humidity and we're just melting. I grab the remote control and walla....nothing....busted ....kaput. But it has to
be the batteries and I hustle up to the OXXO store for some Energizers which just makes me sweat more and it's magic, our house is livable and we get about 10 good nights out of it ( the air conditioner at night is a must after the ocean breeze lays down) until it breaks for good. A capacitator goes out, on a friday night of course. So around here it goes like this....wait till Monday, guy comes Tuesday, yup you've got a problem, part comes on Wednesday, installed on Thursday and all is cooooool again the next Friday.

Don't Give Up....I'll get to the fish pics soon, promise.

Mazatlan is gearing up for Christmas and it's just a bit different here. We were at the store and it was just all so festive. You talk about your Burl Ives....or was that Currier and Ives Christmas... well they got going on here. How about this center piece for your Christmas dinner, just puts me in the mood for sure. And when I saw these babies I suggested to MP that we decorate out tree with donuts, why not try something new eh ?....Well she pointed out to me that all the sugar would attract bees and being hyper alergic like I am the last thing I need is another bee sting. So, bad idea Jethro.  And don't ask me about the Harrison Ford donuts, I got no idea.
So we sit down for breakfeast at LaFonda Chalio on Olas Altas the other morning and it's a sidewalk deal and the town is coming to life and the temp is 75 so we sit down next to the bushy fence and there BEES EVERYWHERE.... Like I say, this place ain't for everybody. So , in a semi panic I tell the guy I'm alergic and we move to a safer table and our host is concerned so he puts out this plate of bait and it sure did work, I think it was green donuts. But the weirdest thing was that I seemed to be the only one a little worried....2 feet from this plate a guy was reading the newspaper and enjoying his coffee.  I kinda figure if he can peruse the sports page with that 2 feet away he wouldn't mind getting his watermelon from this guy.
All morning I can see schools of these Barraleta push bait fish to the surface, Sometimes way to far out of casting distance, sometimes 1/4 mile down the beach. It's so strange, these fish are so fast that the water will erupt as the bait panics and then instantly they're gone. But if you're lucky and have the right metal on at the right time you can get em... I was, Alejandro wasn't, He had a popper on when it erupted just 30 feet in front of us. I had my Trusty Hardware P-line Lazer Minnow and got the tug.
The next day found us out at my favorite fishing spot at Oceanica. It's close to town but it seems so far away. Here's the view to the north with my friends Alberto, Ron and Bernardo hard at work.
And the view to the house is about 3/4 of the way to the left of this frame. It's a huge part of what I love...the quiet, the sloshing of the surf. the cackle of the birds, the horn of the railroad engine.....ooops....
I guess I'm turning into a grizzled veteran of this surf fishing deal. I've finally gotten to have a little confidence in the rubber swim fish that is by far the most popular bait on the beach. It's the strangest bite, they nibble and take a second just like a fish eating a real bait. Odd. So I've learned to repress my instinct to hook set and just wait until you feel better pressure and walla....Corvina down.
Before we left Mile 14 Trusty Hardware has selfie sticks on sale for 5 bucks. I gotta thank ya Brian and Scott for getting those things in, it's a gas. The selfie stick is the perfect tool for a vain, egotistical expert fisherman like myself....and I guess so is writing a blog about yourself....oh well....

Friday, December 4, 2015

Every Storm runs out of Rain

We spent about 3 straight days hunkered down not knowing what Hurricane / tropical storm Sandra was going to do. The models at one point had it coming directly at Mazatlan so anxiety was palpable around here...But what can you do ?....I played music Saturday night at the bar in a howling rain storm and then woke up to the signal Sunday morning that all was well with the world. At one time you could see both ends of this baby and just by luck I got the Kenyan leader of the Marathon with it at his back.... this guy was a good 3 minutes ahead of the field at the 1/2 way point. The world class Marathoners run so lightly you don't hear their feet hit the ground, strange,
As luck would have it Sandra coincided with the full moon cycle and the largest tides of the year. It's what my Mexican friends call the ' tormenta '. All along our beach the sea walls are being rebuilt from the last big event and I have to say what people are saying must be true....the ocean just seems to be getting closer and closer to us... I got enough politics in my life just trying to look out for our Kenai River King Salmon so I won't go on and on about this ocean trend .... I'll simply say .... if you think ya know what's causing this and it's us why don't we just cut it out.
That pic is our next door neighbors who had water onto their decks and into the houses. And how about this next pic, my 1st ever water spout...kinda tornado with nothing in the way. I remember the dust devils out in the desert when I was a kid but I think this baby was a bit more substantial.
It was weird. when the Cyclone hit shore because of the circling nature of it the wind that I estimate was 40 mph was actually to the east....blowing off shore. So I just had to see what I could do with a wind assisted cast. I can routinely get 100 yards with my big rod so with the wind and a 3 ounce Ranger I got my trajectory's up higher than usual and walla, it was a thing of beauty. Pretty much 200 yards I'd say....and then I promptly snapped the Ranger off in mid wind-up while showing off for Alejandro....oh well.
And what kind of sunset expert would I be if I didn't publish the after storm show,,,,,gorgeous.
Me and MPeasy went to see the last installment of the  Hunger Games , I'm hoping somebody from the Kambe Theatre is a reader here because the message is simple.... you guys gotta get with the program. Here's a pic of our seats. We had a couple cold ones and shared an order of french fires that were the crinkle cut crispy's that I'm kinda hooked on. And oh, the movies cost 5 bucks.
Then it was off to Todo's Santo's for crab tostados.....oh baby, two happy people.
Last night as I finger picked a bit on Martin's Spanish guitar I was approached by a gal named Yolanda who heard it in the lobby. She's the programing director for Radiorama 94.7 FM Mazatlan radio so it looks like I'm going to be on the radio this next week... hope you come back to Mile 5014 because it should make a good story....OH, and I'm going to sing Gary Allan's Every Storm Runs Out Of  Rain