Thursday, December 30, 2010

Incident in Playacar

At about 7:37 this morning we were catching up on the news. FOX is all we can get in Mexico so it's only one side of everything. I was enjoying some delicious, nutritious, breakfast pastries in the kitchen and looking at FaceBook. P was sipping her coffee con crema on the couch and commenting on a story about a ski lift collapse in Maine. The doors to the three balconies and the warm Caribbean breeze was gently flowing through the condo whisking away all remnants of our unseasonably cold weather from the last few days.

Suddenly P let out a shriek and leaped to her feet. A micro second later a combination of sounds assaulted the morning still of our tropical retreat. The bedroom door, caught by the breeze, had slammed shut on the last 1 1/2 inch of a Siamese cat's tail. He spun his wheels to free himself but left a sizable hunk of fur remaining in the door. Siamese has retreated under the bed to recoup his dignity and to adjust to what I believe to be a permanent crook in his rearmost appendage.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How to go away for the winter.

Set your dates.  This could involve several factors.   Airfare, occupancy, relatives, doctor appointments or weather.  Last year we spent more on changes than on the actual cost of a flight.

Start tanning.   Get a decent base to ward off the effects of the tropical sun.   El Sol is very strong in the tropics.  It is totally unbelievable how many people we see with debilitating sunburns.   They can't be thinking too clearly.   Why spend a few thousand bucks and get crispy on the first day.   Fake Bake!  

Figure out how to get to the airport. lately the easiest and cheapest has been to rent a car one way, leave it at PHL and return the same way.  This year it is a little different.  We need to find a rent a car near Amish Country.  We might have rented a  horse and buggy easier.   We found good rates at a regional airport near our home.  But they aren't open on Saturday.  The two day rental is still cheaper than other places so we took that.  Asking your friends for a ride means that you will eventually have to return the favor.   Letting your kids know where you are going means they might show up and join you.  So, rent a car.

Airline tickets, were easy this year because we used frequent flyer miles.   That was a great deal. We always check how much for an upgrade.   The first class seats were exactly the same amount of miles as coach!   Great deal from US Airways.  Except the cats cost $125, each cat, each way.  

To get from CUN to the condo, we decided to rent another car.   By the time we would haul all our luggage (including a George Foreman Patio Grill), cats, Christmas lights, chocolate vodka and other crap to an overpriced airport taxi, private shuttle or (our usual) ADO bus it is easier and less expensive to just rent a car.  We have learned to wave down a porter to carry our stuff through customs and out to the curb.  We won't need to mess around with taxis once we get to the condo.  We can use the car to go to the grocery, Home Depot, Sam's Club, restaurants and all the other running around we will need to do. We rented a Mexican car for a week for around $200.   
 Once our supplies are laid in we can sit back, hunker down and start to enjoy the weather.  Simple as that.

Feliz Navidad and Ano Nuevo amigos.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Waiting for Mexico

Right now that is how many days we have left in the United States this year.
The leaves are starting to turn and fall.

The water lines are blown out and the pink antifreeze is ready to be injected into the camper pipes.  

Our Migration instinct  is full on now!   We are restless and fidgety, it is too late in the year to actually start anything new except Christmas Shopping.    

The Hawaiian shirt with Santa Claus has suddenly reappeared after a 2 year hiatus in the moving crate.   The cat travel containers are on display so the livestock doesn't freak.   That was the big deal last year, flying into Cancun with two cats was a learning experience to say the least.  But we did figure it out on the way home.   Just assume the attitude of the guy on the commercials.   You know, that guy.  He is the most interesting man in the world.  Just start giving orders and they all think you know what you are doing and give you more service than you request.   Also a 50 peso note can't hurt.

  We are getting way better with this trip.  Forget trying to haul anything around by yourself.   That will be especially true this year because we are taking a George Foreman Grill with us.   Brand new, in the box, patio style, stand up, grease reducing, electric grill for the condo.   We found it on sale and they are totally missing in our section of Mexico.   So we had to buy it.    Aduana has a policy of allowing 10 times the amount of stuff into the country at Christmas.   We are bringing it.  And the cats.   And the netbook.   And my Medicine.    Good thing we are sitting in the front.   

I love first class.   The service starts at the curb.   The baggage handlers treat you different as soon as they see your first class designation.   We will have a completely (short) line to check in.   No extra fee for our foreman grill.   Our luggage and our grill will get festooned with a sticker designating it as Special.

We don't even have to sit and wait out there in the main concourse with the other people.   We will hide in the first class lounge.   They actually come and get you and surreptitiously escort you to the airplane.  We will be chugging our first cocktail behind the privacy curtain while other passengers are jockeying for position and trying to cram their crap into the overheads  in the back.  Up front we will have plenty of warm towels and snacks served in little baskets about once an hour.  Our private potty is still fresh after 3 hours and there is never a line to use it.  The best part about first is the seats.   They are 30% larger and recline flat.   NICE!  

The service doesn't stop once you arrive.   We will walk off the plane as three or five cabin monkeys block the rest of the 287 passengers jostling for their stuff in the overhead.   Our luggage comes off before everybody else.    Stay thirsty my friend.   Travel heavy.

Next, How to go to Playa the easy way.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Traveling west across the Yucatan Peninsula in a rented Jeep with the top off.  This car had TOURIST written on it in big red letters.    It might have said AVIS but it is essentially the same thing.   We chose to take the Cuota or toll road because of the lack of decisions and fewer obstacles.   We were frequently amazed at the appearance of a person pedaling a three wheeled vehicle (two wheels in front) along the shoulder seemingly in the total middle of nowhere.  I have since looked at maps and Google Earth and there is nothing there. 

 So here we were heading across the scrubby 20 foot tall forest at about 120.   In American that's about 72.   We had the road pretty much to ourselves.  In the distance ahead we could see moving objects in the curb lane.   Whatever it was seemed to be hopping back and forth across that half of the highway.  As we approached the scene it became evident that the animals directly in our path were birds.   Big birds.   They were having a feast on some kind of road kill.   

P was looking off into the distance at this vulture buffet as I moved over to the passing lane to avoid the mess.  We were still about a half mile away when one of these primitive bastards decided to take flight.   The biggest one hopped a few times toward us, flapped his 6 foot wingspan once, twice and began veering into our lane.   The other creatures had stopped eating to watch their giant friend take off. WHAM.   We clobbered him.  He rolled across the windshield and blew up and over the jeep.  She ducked, I already had my head down by the steering wheel.  We were both trying to avoid the red shower of blood and guts.  The whooshing sound of feathers blowing the wrong way and screeching claws like chalk on a slate assaulted our ears as the bird tumbled by only inches over our heads.  She turned to watch the carnage on the road behind us while I looked in the mirrors.   The other birds wasted no time splitting into two groups.   They were feeding on our boy before he even stopped rolling.   

One wiper was a little bent.  That's it, one bent wiper arm.  One recycled vulture.  We were not covered by the half digested offal upon which they had been feeding or the resulting excrement which should have been exponentially worse than any seagull guano.   No mist of ultra fine blood particles resultant from our high speed collision on our clothes, up our noses, on our teeth and RayBan sunglasses.  Easy Peasy. All done.  A clean get away.  Just keep going, pressing on across the flat limestone based gnarled jungle towards the site of the meteor impact that instantly assassinated all the dominant species on the planet millions of years ago and toward a big, frozen drink with fresh fruit and a cherry enjoyed under the thatched roof of a Mexican beach bar.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Assateague Island

We finally made it back to Assateague.  The bugs weren't too bad at all.  Our friends arrived shortly after we got there.   After a nice night we were up and at the beach early.  After a perfect sunny day we all decided to head for dinner and a walk on the O.C. MD boards.  The next day we watched a couple set up a brand new, teeny tiny pop up.   

The rangers were very specific during the check in process at the campground office.   No booze at all (except in a motorhome) or coolers outside.   They also had prominently displayed on the bulletin board in the office, horrifying photos of several little girls with sweet pink ribbons in their hair.  The girls had been bitten by horses.   Each horse tooth mark was dripping blood.   It is amazing how well horse bites show up on the freshly sunburned skin of a 12 year old girl.   

Several snapshots in full color were also posted of a horse, dead or dying.   He had been hit by a car.   Very strange how only the whites of a horse eye showed after being clobbered to death by an automobile.   Posted directly next to each other the photos are otherwise unrelated.  The mother of the kids who were brutally attacked did not run down the pony.   The volunteers actually seemed surprised at the question.  "What?"  I needed to repeat.  "Is this the horse that bit these girls?"   I pointed at the carcass of the two tone animal.  He needed an X in the pupils to look more bizarre.

On the third day we saw 3 horses across the street, at the tiny pop up site .  The horse trio was a burglary crew.   One just ate grass and distracted the people.  While the other one opened coolers and feasted on the contents.   The third watched out for Mr. Ranger.

The owners of the pop up were going berserk.   The guy went into the camper and tried to scare off the horses.   The dude somehow felt protected by a gossamer layer of nylon mesh screening.   He rattled, waved and shouted at the marauders without effect.

The horse spotted the cooler and went to town.

Dude was freaking!  So was the lady.

He sent her to get the car and run down the four legged beast.

He indicated for her to gun the motor and smash that foul demon from hell.   That is appropriate punishment for licking ice and munching a few carrots out of a cooler.

They finally moved away, mission accomplished!
Thank goodness for the mechanized infantry.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So What!

Burn the Koran!   Whatever you do, don't offend the poor peaceful Muslims.   They are protected under the law for some reason or the other.   Let's be totally politically correct here.

Maybe they are actually really nice people.  Kind to women and children and tolerant of all nationalities and other religions.  That punishment of 90 lashes and stoning is very fine for a woman who has shown her face in public.  The bitch asked for it.   Don't you agree that we should protect the muslims, allow them to burn symbols of the USA and encourage freedom of expression?

This is the kind of advertising that was prevalent during WWII.   We are fighting a war right?   The enemy is "Them" right?  So what if we offend somebody.   We should be killing them, with kindness maybe?  Not.  FTW.

This is America.  We are the most powerful country in the world. Ever.  We are allowed to offend anybody we want to.  We can take over countries and give them back.  We shouldn't get pushed around.  Go ahead and burn any symbol you want, you are an American.  Burning draft cards was a temporary sensation.   The bra burning thing was great too.   They burned all kinds of books and even set fire to all those ugly witches in Massachusetts.  Personally I am totally relieved that epidemic was stopped in it's tracks before those nasty Salem Witches could take off and start breeding all over the place.

We should stop acting like such pussies right away.  All we need to do is blow the living daylights out of any location we even suspect may be harboring terrorists, rebels or whatever.   The people running away from the bad guys would be a dead give away.  They know that we won't blow up a school.   That becomes a good place to use as headquarters.  Bullshit.  Reagan parked an aircraft carrier offshore and dropped a few bombs in Omar Kadafi's back yard.   That shut him up for 25 years.   That kind of negotiating works.

I know how to win this war;   Build a great big electric plant.  Start broadcasting TV, hook all the kids up to Wii and iPods.  Park everybody in front of a great big TV set and turn on Real World, Jersey Shore and Gerry Springer.   Crank up the air in the homes and make it intolerable to go outside.  Fill the youth of that country with sugary drinks, carbohydrates and give away free cigarettes.  Be aware of all the pictures you see from the middle east.   No wonder these people are angry.   Of course they are pissed off, they live in terrible conditions!  Dust all over the place, no ice, definitely no martinis and you can probably forget all about limes  or olives.   How about a supermarket, nice cool shower and a FEMA trailer from Louisiana left over from Katrina? 

Supply them with Ramen noodles, Easy Mac and white bread.  They NEED McDonalds too.  How about some plumbing?   They would go for an actual toilet upon which they could sit.  A few Corvettes spread out to the natives who become narcs wouldn't hurt either.   After a few months of advertising we could escalate to total warfare.   Bring in NASCAR, Coors light and maybe a golf course here and there.  Pick up the trash, bulldoze the hovels we see on TV.

Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pitching a tent

Have you seen the new Cialis commercial?   It starts out pretty normal but quickly turns into an old fashioned, heavy duty, acid trip.   Not that cosmetic junk that just kind of made soft glows around the edges of things and rainbows over headlights and street lamps.  Or the product of incomplete synthesis hastily made in some basement washtub desperate dealers would try to pass off as mescaline.   Whoever created this commercial must have found an old stash of sugar cubes or Orange Sunshine Microdots.  Now, I have no personal experience with any illegal substances but my friend did a mess of that stuff, all the time, and told me about it.   

Everything goes all surreal right after the guy lays eyes on the widely grinning female.  The voice over is hawking the pill.   "When the moment is right..." croons the announcer in soothing, confident, dulcet tones, "you can be ready."   That's when the visual fun starts.  The video becomes slightly cartoonish.   It isn't too weird as to be completely like a claymation movie but enough that you can tell it's not real.  

The background then begins to all shift and smoothly slide around.   A  cabin appears then sort of unfolds and dissolves into the suddenly absorbent ground.  In its place is... a tent.  Get it?   The guy is pitching a tent!  The tent pole is plainly visible where the door of the little house was only seconds before.  As the breeze slightly parts the entrance of the tent more things get melty and begin growing from and retreating into the lush green strands of the surface.   Bridges appear and arch spans a sparking stream which is obviously flowing uphill. Trees and grass blossom and grow before our eyes as the happy couple walk hand in hand over the hobbit terrain out of the frame and directly to the twin bathtubs which have become the trade scene for this product.   

Why are they in separate tubs?  Is the message here that boner pills should be mixed with some four-way window pane?  Why does she look so happy, thankful and relieved 12 seconds before anything goes on?   Why the bath?   Maybe she looks like a glazed donut considering the powerful psychedelic properties of this new wonder drug and needs to rinse.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stranded at home?

The motorhome is at the hospital.   We bought the extended warranty and plan to use it.   This traumatic action is prompted by the refrigerator recall.  So, as long as we are taking it back to the dealer we might as well get the rest of our little problems fixed at the same time.   

The effect of not having a place to get out of the sun, eat lunch or just watch a little TV while at camp has had a terrible effect on me.   Only one place to live?  No diesel powered 3 TV man cave?  Camp has become a really great place to get away.   The maintenance there is about zero.   Every once in a while I spray the gravel with round up to murder anything that might be sprouting.  It is fun to gather a few sticks which have fallen from the trees and burn them in the fire pit our friends gave us.  Once a week or so somebody has to walk around to pull the lever which drains the holding tanks into the stinky slinky RV sewer. 

The Red Castor Bean plant is starting to erupt into a very wild looking piece of vegetation.   They are having a nice party Saturday and another one on Labor Day.   
Maybe even a showing of Rocky Horror on the fence between the indoor pool and the tennis court.   Who knows, we might even watch RHPS from our own golf cart.

Basically nothing is happening.  Yet...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Your approved!

Out on the highway we saw a big sign over a used car lot.   It said "Your approved."   Now let's not be snobby but come on, that is just wrong.   The word "your" and the "you're" are different words.   "Your" is an adjective that describes something relating to you. "You'reis a contraction of "you" and "are."   It is not that complicated.   I think that a sign printer should at least have a grammar checker on a laptop or a basic working knowledge of our language.

And... how about all the other stupid stuff in our language.   It seems that a lot of it is creeping into general usage.  Some of it works and some of it sounds weird.   The overhead announcement at Wally World said "Wearing our jeans, you will be representing." Uh, representing what?  That was it, just "representing."  What is that?   Since when does the Colonel "do" chicken?   "Do" as a verb meant something else in starting the 60's.   "Virtual" had another, different meaning too but I don't remember what it was.   "Actually" is now all over the place.   The guys on "This Old House" use it in every other sentence.  "Soul Patch" is pretty unusual.  My dad had a different word for that little beard right beneath your lip.  If anybody uses "axe" in place of "ask" I either hang up or turn away.   I am afraid to type more about that, it may be illegal.  "Unibrow" is discriptive.  "Ba dunk a dunk" seems to be a long way to go for "butt."  I like "application"  but using "yo" at the end of a sentence, not so much.    More incidences of "or", "our" and "are" transpositions have begun to show up.  Nobody seems to know how to spell on any internet forum.   The word "definitely gets butchered all the time.   "Too", "two" and "to" is also often abused.

Our library here in town featured an opportunity to have your photo taken and travel document application printed for free.  Somebody had removed the letter "p" and differently spaced their marquee sign.   It now read "ass port night, we take photos."  Yesterday I was in a men's room and saw that somebody had altered an obscenity written on the wall.   We are in Amish Country so it shouldn't have been too surprising.  They had carefully converted the word "F**K" to "BOOK."   How about that?

Let's not even discuss prepositions.   They are bad things to end sentences with.

We can skip apostrophe abuse too.