Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cabo Conclusion

My laziness really knows no bounds.

Monday, day 5 was to be mostly about packing and heading to the airport and flying home.  We got up early and at about 9 AM, both of our phones rang, one right after the other.  They were both unknown numbers and since it costs $1/minute roaming charges to talk internationally neither of us answered.  But, I did question the oddity of one phone ringing immediately after the other.

We had breakfast, lunch and then went to the lobby to wait for our ride to the airport.  We were to meet our ride at 1 PM.  The ride to the airport was long and somber.  It wasn't nearly as much fun as the ride from the airport.

When we finally arrived at the airport there was foreboding commotion.  People were whining about cancelled flights and, "You might as well go back to the hotel."  kinds of things.  Sure enough, American Airlines had cancelled all flights to Dallas because of severe weather.  Apparently a line of thunderstorms were heading east and were scheduled to imminently cross the DFW zone.

I got in line and flirted with the nice ticket counter lady and she recommended a hotel that was offering "deals" to the American Airlines passengers who were stranded in Cabo.  For $90/person, you could stay at the all inclusive resort called Barceló.  She also informed me that I had already been re-booked on tomorrow's flight.  Upon checking my voice mail messages, my 9 AM call was American Airlines letting me know that they had cancelled my flight and booked me on the same flight tomorrow.  No need to go to the airport.  I would have rescued an entire day had I just answered my phone.  It will go down in history as the worst $5 I ever saved.

The Barceló was quite a bit different from the Riu Santa Fe.  People were more mature and sedate.  I sat with a group of guys who were talking about their fishing expeditions rather than their drunken escapades on Squid Roe.  I didn't much like it.  The people were snootier and the wait staff was not nearly as good.  It was kind of odd.

On the 6th day, we decided to have lunch Barceló's steak grill which sat on the beach.  This little restaurant had me changing my mind about the Barceló experience.  They had good beer on tap.  The food was good and it was tranquil; eating steak, sipping on a beer and listening to the surf crash onto the beach.  I could have stayed there all day.  As it was, I had to leave at 1 to go catch a flight.

I'm sure I'm leaving out some sordid details of my trip.  Feel free to ask questions.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Economic Capitalistic Rapture

So the gal on Wordpress who drew up the little flowchart here has gone viral.  Last I looked, almost 7000 hits in one day all for a silly little flowchart.  How do people find these things?

It got me to thinking how I can profit from this?  It seems kind of odd thinking about profiteering on the day before the end, but nevertheless, it's what I do.

My first thought was to setup a care service.  When those without sin are sucked up into heaven, I'll remain behind, complete with my sin, and take care of any loved ones (including pets) that might also get left behind.  I figure you won't be needing your money anyway, so I'll charge $1000 per.  I've got a paypal account setup and everything.

Then I discovered this.  They are a group of animal loving atheists who will care for your pets.  $135 for the first pet then it gets discounted.  Once again, I am late on coming up with the multi-billion dollar idea.

I've got no other ideas.  I've read where some naysayers are going to find the addresses of all the sinless and put clothes in their yards.  This is making the assumption that when the sinless are sucked up into heaven, their clothes will be left behind.  So, the optimistic sinless will come out after the supposed "rapture" and see their lawn littered with the clothing of those that made it (and hopefully be devastated).  Actually, now that I think about that, I should have lived a better life.  I bet some of them might look pretty good naked.  But, then, if they are holy enough to get sucked into heaven, I'm betting they wouldn't be much fun anyway.

Of course, all this means that the earth will fall apart on October 21.  The apocalypse takes 5 months?  Is that written somewhere?  I'm too lazy to go and look it up.  $135 per pet is not nearly going to cover 5 months worth of pet care.  Just the other day a college kid put a note on my door offering to care for my pets while I vacation.  His cost was about $10 per day.  Let's just say 5 months is 150 days.  That's $1500.  I should easily be able to charge $1500 per pet.  Damn atheists are working on the cheap to put me out of business!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cabo Four or So

Sunday or day four in Cabo started out with me giving myself my 2nd injection in four years.  We decided that we wanted to walk back to San Lucas, but this time we intended to swim in the ocean for a bit.  The walking and the beach was not much different than Friday's walk.  There was a Disney cruise ship anchored outside the bay so I kind of thought I might be able to run small children off the pier, but no such luck.

The highlight of San Lucas on Sunday was me haggling with a guy about his shirt prices.  I don't know if I can describe it in a way to give it justice.  It started out with a $20 shirt and me ending up with a shirt and a jacket for $35.  I feel like I won because I received at least $10 worth of entertainment from the exchange.  When I was younger I didn't like haggling.  I hated it with a passion.  We'd have our yearly garage sale and people would always want to haggle with me about the cost of my Matchbox Cars.

It occurs to me suddenly that the haggling may have happened on Friday.  I knew I took too long to write this!

As I've gotten elderly, I have learned to appreciate the friendly art of haggling.  It's downright entertaining to argue about prices.  Next time you go to a flee market and you see something you really want at a good price.  Argue anyway.  Argue for the hell of it.  See that $10 solid gold Rolex?  I'll give you $5.  How about $7.  Soon you may spend the $10 anyway, but you'll have gotten some free haggling practice and entertainment.

On the way back to the hotel.  My goal was to swim in the Pacific.  Small oversight here.  It has come to my attention that I haven't told anyone where it is I stayed.  It was the Hotel Riu Santa Fe.  A party place.

Compared to the Caribbean, the water off the Baja Peninsula is cold.  The tide was fairly rough even in the "swim zones".  Of course, this could have been part of my neurosis.  I had to find the swim zone with the least amount of people which, coincidentally enough, is also the one with the largest swells.  Anyway, I just threw caution to the wind and dove over the next big wave and into the water.  That first taste of salt water down your nose and the strength of the water pulling you off the beach causes a moment of panic that is hard to describe.  It's both exhilarating and terrifying.  Once I got beyond the swells, I just treaded water for a bit, decided it was too cold and went back up on the beach.  Mission accomplished.

Sunday was to be our last full day at the hotel so, naturally, I was in rare form.  First stop was the swim up bar near our room.  I asked the bartender for his "specialty".  I did it jokingly, but later found out that all the bartenders make a "special".  I guess the game being to go around to all the bars and ask each bartender to make you one of their specials.  This particular bartender made something he called a "Mike Tyson" because it will knock you out.  Watching him make it almost sent me running, but it was surprisingly tasty.  And it made me talkative.

I have a problem when I go to bars.  I'm normally quiet and reserved.  After one or two drinks I become talkative and entertaining.  This causes people around me to pressure me into drinking more.  The logic being that if he's that funny with two beers imagine how funny he'll be with a shot of tequila.

We went back to the hotel, changed and decided to head out to the "evening bar".  Again, since this was our last night at the hotel, we wanted to say, "Bye, eh" to all our Canadian buddies.  I left out part of my story.  The guy who made the Mike Tyson told us which bar he'd be working at that evening.  Another reason to plan for a late night.

We saw Kevin and Steve (I mean Chuck and Larry) again.  We saw Neil (I mean Syndrome) again.  We saw Syndrome's wife again.  Syndrome's wife had somehow found a group of friends to hang out with.  I encouraged Syndrome to go get them all drunk in an effort to have group sex.  Really, I was just trying to get him distracted by something else.  He could be quite annoying sometimes.  I think he may have been a quasi-functioning alcoholic.

Larry decided I wasn't an egotistical asshole as he originally thought and told me as much.  He was very friendly and a bit too fond of hugs.  He talked lovingly of Chuck and Chuck tried to feign disinterest.  We told them we'd be leaving tomorrow.  They told us they had their last dive tomorrow so we probably wouldn't see them again.  I ordered a round of Mike Tysons.  They saw how funny I was and they ordered two more rounds.  If memory serves, I got sick Sunday night.  Yuk.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Last week Google's blogger went belly up for almost a full 24 hours.  During that 24 hours, I couldn't access anything to post new blogs and they deleted my last blog.

Eventually, everything was returned to its former glory but it made me consider how much I trust Google to keep up with all of my artistic spewing.  I started thinking about the idea of cross posting to another blog.  I started a blog on Wordpress which I intended to just synchronize with this one.  Thus, if one or the other went down, I'd still have a copy to go back to.

This idea has cost me all kinds of time.  At first, I said to myself, "I'm not going to blog again until I have my Wordpress ready to go."  It has delayed everything.  Now, I've decided to ease back on my blessed stubbornness.

I think I want to finish the story of my Cabo vacation.  I ended up staying 6 days and I'm only on Day 4.  Should I combine Day 4 and Day 5?  These are the kinds of decisions which cause me to to go into hyper procrastination mode.

Occasionally, I don't have anything to blog about so I just kind of hit upon the top 3 or 4 things that have been on my mind.  These are:

  1. Laziness and voting.
  2. Winning the staring contest.
  3. Marriage and last names.
I should probably setup a voting booth so you, the reader, can decide my next foray into topic madness.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Social Stupidity Take Two

Not too very long ago I spurted forth a work of art entitled "Social Stupidity" relating to my inability to socialize. I received several emails and some comments about this and I thought I'd share some of it because, well because, that's what I do.

Actually, to be honest and slightly lazy, there was only one sentence from one person that particularly caused me pause.  I think I can just share that sentence...

"However, it also became quite noticeable to me that Gar spends a lot of time talking about Gar and his woes."

On the surface, this comment seems innocent enough.  When I'm in a group environment I don't talk at all.  In a one on one situation I tend to talk about me.  It all goes back to the fallacy of the Golden Rule.  I don't like asking people about their lives so I assume people don't like asking me.  During lulls in conversation I spew forth the most dramatic things I can think of about my woes.  Like the one day I cut my pinkie finger while washing my hands.  It was a vigorous scrubbing.

This one little innocent sentence in a 20 paragraph email telling me that I'm too hard on myself has caused me untold amounts of duress.  Now, even in one on one conversations I question everything I'm about to say for fear of talking about me and/or my woes.  Suddenly I'm even more socially inept than before.

Now when they ask, "Hey Gar, how are you doing?"  I literally can't answer.  All attempts to speak are roadblocked by "Gar spending a lot of time talking about Gar and his woes".  You'd think I wouldn't care.

In fact, this whole blog posting seems to be a glaring proof of Gar blogging about Gar and his woes.  It's quite irritating.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cabo Three (Really)

Chapter Two is here in case you missed it.

Saturday (or day three as the title implies) started at about 6:30.  I had nightmares all night about running out of insulin.  It reminded me of when I was first diagnosed with diabetes 30+ years prior.  Except those nightmares usually involved accidentally eating an entire box of Sweet Tarts.

I woke up and the first thing I did was check to see if perhaps an overnight drying of my insulin pump may have corrected the dampened electronics.  It had not.  The thing was worse than the night before.  It wouldn't even come on.  It just made some strange squawking noises.

I checked my blood sugar.  It was 210 which was not bad for an entire night without insulin, but I don't want to get into the mathematics of that.  Although it was at the forefront of my thoughts.

I got dressed and headed to the lobby.  I talked to the receptionist and she called the doctor.  To make some sort of shiny silver lining on the whole ordeal, my partner in crime went to the reservation desk and made us dinner reservations at the steak restaurant (being that it was 7 AM and all).

I'm not sure about the Mexican phone systems.  The doctor seemed to speak pretty good English.  He asked me again what I needed and I told him a bottle of N insulin and about 10 syringes.  He said he had to call the pharmacy and I thought he was putting me on hold.  Next thing I know the phone is making some strange clicking and chirping noise and I'm suddenly on conference call with a Spanish speaking pharmacist and the doctor.

It started reminding me of one of those strange near-horror Twilight Zone episodes where a poor hapless soul runs out of life supporting medication and suddenly no one can understand him.

The doctor finally comes back to English and says, "They don't have any long lasting insulin".  "Hmmm," says I, "Do they have any Regular insulin?"  During the next Spanish session all I understood was the word Regular in a Spanish accent.

Finally the doc comes back and says, "Okay, someone will be there from the pharmacy in about 20 minutes with Regular insulin and 10 syringes.  It'll cost about $56 dollars."  N insulin is a one shot per day kind of insulin for me.  It lasts 24 hours.  Regular insulin lasts 6 hours.  It's slightly better than the stuff I have in my backpack because it only lasts 3 hours.

15 minutes later the front desk calls to let me know I have a delivery.  The guy can't speak any English, but he's excited to show me he has found a bottle of N Insulin!  I gave him $60 dollars and a kiss on the cheek.  Okay, not really.  I was very happy though.  As happy as I could get with the prospect of having to take a shot of insulin for the first time in 4 years.

I shopped for hard candy (a necessary evil to counteract low blood sugar when long lasting insulin is involved).  I went back to the room, gave myself a shot and went to a breakfast buffet.  The next few details are rather murky.

At some point I know we went back out to the pool to have drinks.  I had discovered that Gin & Tonics were wonderful for a restless stressed out belly.  They also lubricated the tense mind.  Before long I was back to my usual happy self when I heard a familiar twisted Irish accent coming from my right.  It was Kevin of Chuck and Larry fame.

He had somehow befriended all of these strapping young lads after we'd left him the night before.  They'd went into downtown to some "now famous" bar called Squid Roe.  Anyway, he had given them all nicknames and they were calling him Todd.  I don't know why.  He was quite proficient with the nicknames, one of them was called "Gummy Bear" or something of this nature.  There was another who was supposedly taking large doses of Viagra.  He had a nickname too, but I can't remember it or it has been erased like some kind of brain trauma.

Anyway, for some reason, they had a bottle of chilled Grey Goose Vodka in the pool that they were passing around.  Some of the things they were doing and saying would have likely got them arrested in the great "Jail Me" state I call home.  In Cabo it was just fun and funny.

I convinced Kevin/Chuck/Todd that we should go to Amnesia.  The appropriately named adult entertainment bar in San Lucas.  He agreed and we were to meet him at 9 PM to arrange for a ride.

To make a long story shorter, after our dinner at the steak restaurant at 6:30, the stress of the day kicked me in the ass and I went to bed.  I read a few chapters from my Benjamin Franklin autobiography and gracefully passed out.

Not Cabo Three But Social Stupidity

I've had some clamoring for Cabo Three.  I'm currently at work and decided to take a 15 minute break to write something.  Cabo Three should be short, but I'm going to write it tonight when I get home.

I spent the weekend with relatives.  There are a large majority of my relatives who are very good story tellers.  Some of them are quite descriptive and offer up a good amount of humor.  Some have more humor.  Some have more descriptions.  There are others who try valiantly, but just don't seem to have the story telling talent.

When I get into these gatherings, I typically go directly into "fly on the wall" mode.  I observe, but rarely speak.  I'm fairly confident I was born without the story telling talent.  Which begs the question, "What the hell are you doing now?"

When I am sitting on the metaphorical wall, I do a lot of listening.  And random thoughts go through my head of possible anecdotes I could lend to the fireside experience, but I don't do it.  The neuron path from my brain to my mouth is not nearly fast enough.  By the time I've worked out the details enough to begin my story, there is always one spewing forth from someone else.  If I do manage to start talking, I talk at 100 miles per hour lest I unnecessarily delays someone else's neuron process.  I hate interruptions.

I'm sitting and thinking of all of this when one of my cousin's kids (she's in her 20's I think) appears and asks where I'm from.  "Dallas," I reply.  "And what do you do in Dallas?" she asks.  All kinds of humorous remarks fly through my mind, but all I say is, "I write software".

An hour later, I'm completely lost to the entire social structure of the situation because I'm feeling guilty and bad about being so socially inept.  I am more socially graceful with total strangers who speak Spanish in Mexico than I am with my relatives.  I can't quite figure out why.

Why didn't I ask her where she's living?  I don't know (well, I didn't know).  I do now because her dad conveniently mentioned it to someone else in passing.  Why didn't I ask what she did there?  I don't know.  It might have been an interesting conversation.  I know what she does now because I heard her dad mention it to someone in passing.  I'm a good listener.  Why can't I ask?  It's infuriating.

When I was in school I used to never ask questions because I figured I could always learn it later by listening or reading.  It was too embarrassing to ask.  Or perhaps I was scared of appearing ignorant?

I kid you not, about ten years ago I went to see a psychologist for a few weeks to help with this problem.  She'd give me weekly tasks to ask questions about everything.  I was required to appear ignorant.  I think she wanted to prove to me that it was alright.  That no one would really care.

It worked for the most part.  I was able to do better with it in a work environment, but I am still mostly socially inept.  I'll give another example with them and me.

Them: Hey Gar how are you doing?
Me: Fine thanks.
Them: It was nice seeing you again.  We'll see you later and have a nice day!
Me: Thanks!

There are way too many thoughts running around my feeble neurons for me to compose a socially acceptable dialog.  Same example with some of my random thoughts.

Them: Hey Gar how are you doing?
Me: Oh my god, why are they talking to me?  If I talk back with too much interest are people going to take this the wrong way?  What the hell am I supposed to say?  I really feel like I need to pee but that doesn't seem like a good thing to say.  "I was doing fine until up about 10 minutes ago when that beer I drank hit my bladder with a running start!"  Did that guy at the other table just look at me?  Did someone over there just mention my name?  Is everyone waiting to hear what I say?  I'm feeling kind of tired all of the sudden, maybe I should just say I'm tired.  Nah, cuz then they'll believe I think they are boring or that their sudden and unprovoked presence has made me tired.  That wouldn't be nice.  Fine thanks.
Them: It was nice seeing you again.  We'll see you later and have a nice day!
Me: I am taking way too long to respond in this whole dialog.  Perhaps I should speed things up.  I wonder if they think I am stupid.  What do they mean with 'seeing me again'?  Is that entire table over there laughing at me now?  I don't know that I've ever seen them before.  Maybe someone put them up to this and I'm the receiver of a practical joke.  Did I meet them yesterday and forget about it already?  Do they think I'm someone else?  What if they have me confused with someone else?  No, they did correctly call me Gar.  So what was their name?  Perhaps I should ask them who they are?  Nah, that would be rude.  Why can't I remember who they are? Oh, I'm taking too long again. Thanks!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Cabo Pause With Android Solves

It's going to take me so long to tell the Cabo story that I'm going to forget what happened.  However, my next installment may be a few days coming as I am traveling to Fort Stockton today and won't be back until Sunday.

This week, I solved one of my ongoing Android problems.  It seems that the Android OS has a "built in" music player which is very difficult (if not impossible) to uninstall.  Once it starts, you can't exit out of it.  I'm not sure the reason for this, but I suspect it contains the code necessary to translate various inputs into audio outputs so all music players use it indirectly.  This is my logical guess anyway.

The frustration happens when you get a new music player (like Pandora) and the "built in" music player always starts up automatically when you plug in headphones or attach to a Bluetooth audio device (like in my car).  Basically, every time I got in my car, the "built in" music player would take off and start playing the one or two songs I had stored locally and when you're halfway down the road realizing you are listening to one of the few songs stored locally, it's too late to fix.  I'm not a fan of the "play with your phone while you drive down the road" mentality.

Earlier this week, I downloaded an app called "Tasker".  It basically is a logic program.  Almost a scripting engine for the Android.  If you can setup tactics in Bioware games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age, then you should be able to use Tasker.

I setup Tasker with one profile.  When it detects that I have connected with my car's Bluetooh signal, it starts Pandora, turns up the media volume, and kills the built in music app.  This easy little script fixed all my woes.  Now, every time I get in my car and the Bluetooth connects, Pandora starts up and begins playing over my car stereo.  Sweet.  You can do a lot more with Tasker.  I found a nice little write up about it here.

Incidentally, you save about a dollar if you download the app directly from Tasker rather than through the Android market.  I'm not sure that the savings justifies the trouble of downloading it directly from Tasker.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cabo Two

Here's Chapter One if you missed it.

Part I
Day two we decided to have breakfast and walk the beach to San Lucas.  It was a nice day.  Every day in Cabo was low of about 65 F and a high around 87 F (clear blue skies).

Friday was no different.  The backs of my legs got burnt on the way to San Lucas.  Our hotel was on a "no swimming recommended" beach.  This is both good and bad.  You don't have a lot of kids out screaming in the water so the beach is relatively nice and quiet.  But, on the downside, you also don't want to go jumping in the ocean.  I suspect the tide would have been most unpleasant in its attempt to suck you into the cold depths of the Pacific.

The walk from our hotel to San Lucas went past several stretches of beach which were "swim friendly".  It also goes past lots of hawking salesmen who are attempting to sell you anything from hats to jewelry to Cuban cigars to weed.  It turned into kind of a game as do all things in my twisted sense of adventure.

I started trying to remember names so I could yell at them on the way back.  They'd come greet me as if I was a long lost friend and I'd return in kind, shaking their hand warmly and asking how they'd been doing.  Soon I had a list of names who wanted me to sit at their table at their restaurant on the way back to the hotel.  We didn't walk back.  More on that later.

Once we made it to the pier leading into town, we met Carlos.  Carlos and his wife/girlfriend/business partner had an umbrella where he hawked various "tours".  I gave him the same routine as I'd given the last 100 or so guys just like him, but his English was better than most and he had a very friendly nature and a good sense of humor (i.e., he kept me entertained).  He told us about Pancho, the 800 pound sea lion who likes to ride on the back of boats.  He told us for $10 each he would get us a tour of the island where the sea lions live, the arch, lover's beach and a ride back to our hotel.  "Excellent!" says I as I scratch my now beginning to burn calves, "We'll come back after we've explored the town!"

Off we went to explore San Lucas.  Remember when I said I lack common sense?  I'm about to hit my first one.  I went souvenir shopping and bought two shirts.  We ate at a place called "No Worries".  I chose "No Worries" because the girl standing out front was cute.  I have no method behind my madness.  I see something I like and I just spontaneously head that direction.  "No Worries" was a good choice.  I liked their appetizer menu enough that I took a picture of it.  I particularly liked the Nacho's.  Not the food, but the way it was presented on the menu.  I can't even remember what I ate.

After this, I determined it was time to get more cash.  I immediately saw an ATM which read, "ATM Dispenses American Dollars".  In my non-common sense mind this was handy.  I could get out too much and not have to worry about exchanging it later.  All the vendors seemed to enjoy American money just as much as they did pesos.

Getting American money from an ATM in a foreign country is a VERY bad idea.  And here's why.  In hindsight, I should have thought of this, but for some reason I did not.  ATM's charge a fee.  This one charged 44 pesos or about $4 USD.  They also make up their own conversion rate.  When you get USD in a foreign country they make up their own conversion rate going both directions and they don't tell you what it is.  All the signs I saw said the current rate was 11.  Or 11 pesos per USD.  Put on your math hats.  I didn't discover this until I got home, but this little ATM charged me about 14 pesos per USD coming and going.  I requested $100 USD.  It converted that to 1444 peso.  My bank quietly converts the 1444 peso to about $130 and withdraws it from my account.  The ATM does another magical conversion to convert the 1400 peso to USD and spits out $100.  I've now been legally robbed.  The funny thing is I did it again on Sunday.

It wasn't quite as embarrassing as diving into a trashcan and the hurt was more emotional than physical, but it hurt anyway.

We went to the Gigglin' Marlin.  We went to the Cabo Wabo Cantina (owned by Sammy Hagar).  I found an adult entertainment bar called Amnesia.  I thought this was a wonderful name for such a bar, but we didn't go in.

Finally we walked back to the pier.  I changed into my swim shorts en route.  I was anticipating a wet ride on Carlos's $10 glass bottomed taxi.

The thing I remember about Carlos were the tattoo's.  He had angry looking tattoo's.  The kind you'd expect to see on some drug cartel hit-man from any one of a slew of Hollywood action dramas.  My favorite was the one on the side of his neck which read, "F*ck haters."  He made me proud and a little nervous all at the same time.

He accosted us on the way down the pier and asked if we were ready for our tour.  I whipped out one of my newly acquired $20's and handed it over.  He had to arrange for a boat and a driver so we conversed with him while he did.  His English was very good and I said as much.  He finally admitted to being born in Phoenix, AZ.  I suspect he was a reformed drug runner hiding in Mexico from the Arizona law enforcement officials.

That was the best $20 I ever spent.  It turned into about a 30 minute boat ride for just us.  It was a little fishing boat run by a Mexican who spoke almost no English, but he was very friendly about it.  He even made a joke about not seeing Pancho, but Pancho's "panchos".  He motioned for us to put on the life vests.  One of us didn't like life vests and refused.  He smiled and took off.  We made it to the sea lions and he had us stand at the front of the boat while he took pictures.  I put my life vest on the ground so I wasn't wearing it for the pictures.

As he wheeled the boat around the Federali boat was coming up quick.  He half-frantically, half-casually motioned for us to put on our vests.  Mine was on in a heartbeat.  The Federalis pulled up beside us and started yelling at the poor boat captain in Spanish.  I couldn't keep up, but I think he made some excuse about pictures.  They didn't look happy and trailed us for a bit, but we finally got away.

Our captain deposited us about 5 minutes down the beach from our hotel.  The waves were too high on our hotel beach for a safe debarkation.  Being that it was about a 45 minute walk from our hotel to downtown San Lucas I was happy with this result and we were able to debark without getting wet, but also without getting to visit with all my new friends along the beach.

I maybe should have done Cabo Two as Part One and Part Deus because it's only 4 PM by this time and I haven't gotten to the exciting part.  I just added "Parts", but didn't feel like removing this random blurb.  Instead I added to it like a moron.

Part II

When we got back (about 4), we went back to one of the pools with the "swim up" bars, had dinner (at a buffet), and decided to go and see what the evening at the hotel had in store.  They had karaoke for prizes!

We decided to hang at the hotel and see what kind of insanity awaited.  I was immediately accosted by Niel who shall from this moment forward be called Syndrome.  It only makes sense if you are familiar with "The Incredibles".  He was loud, but not too loud.  He was subtly and not so subtly obnoxious.  And he was from Canada.  And he may have suffered from a small case of only child syndrome.

When he first came at me with his accent, I accused him of faking some twisted Irish accent.  He laughed and asked where I was from.  I told him Texas and he accused me of being a gun toting cowboy.  I told him I had three, but they were all concealed and would remain that way as long as he behaved.

Soon a woman who sadly admitted to being his wife appeared and introduced herself.  I don't remember her name.  I suspect Syndrome purposefully interfered with this endeavor with one of his ongoing attempts to retain 100% of the attention.  She said something about having to put her laptop back in the room and she'd be back in a few.  I should have charged a $10 babysitting fee.  Little did I know that she was wife, caretaker and mom to little Syndrome.  As soon as she left I regretted it.

Not long after she left, my ears were accosted with two more twisted Irish sounding accents which I immediately recognized as Canadians.  I believe one was Kevin and for some reason I can't remember the other guy's name.  Maybe Steve.  For the purpose of this story we'll call them "Chuck and Larry".  If you've ever seen the movie, you'll understand why.  They were Canadian scuba divers staying at a resort hotel and trying to hide their sexuality.

Chuck was apparently married, but his wife didn't like going on vacation with him.  Larry thought I was an egotistical jerk.  I think it was his way of saying he'd hope I would ditch the bitch and make the switch.  Larry was very flamboyant when he drank.  When Chuck witnessed this flamboyancy he'd come over and offer up some anecdote about having to get room service to quit pushing their beds together.  It was funny and charming all at the same time.

Which is why I decided to escape the fun and go put my hat in the ring for some karaoke fun.  It was crazy chaos.  There was no line (I've decided that Mexico is much like Italy in that regard).  The rudest person with the most elbows gets to go first.  It was while standing in this mob that my pump buzzed me.  I picked it up and there was a nasty error code on the screen.  It read something like, "Pump Error E-0045.  Please call for technical support".  This completely ruined my evening.  I managed to get it to work for about 15 minutes longer while I tried to call support from my mobile.

Support told me that this was a fatal error and I should quit using the pump (even if it pretended to briefly function).  I started using the insulin pump four years ago and this is the first trip I had ever taken without a backup supply of long lasting insulin, syringes and a backup pump.  I travel a lot and I get tired of packing all the extra crap for the "just in case".  This time I had decided (purposefully) to throw caution to the wind.  I've been on 4 cruises, been to Italy a few times, Germany a few times and France.  I've always gone through the trouble of getting a loaner backup pump and taking syringes and insulin.  Always.  This is the first time I decided it wasn't worth it.  I hate Murphy.

It was about 10 PM by this time, but I went up to the front desk hoping that maybe there was a 24 hour pharmacy with supplies.  They made me talk to a hotel doctor and he informed me that the pharmacy wouldn't open again until 7 AM the following morning.  Friday night sucked.  I went to bed and had dreams of random people rescuing me with syringes of insulin.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cabo One

Thursday started at 7 AM. I had to be on-board my MD-80 flight to San Jose Cabo at 9:05.  As I recall, it was a cool morning.  I wore my cargo jeans, "gone to my happy place" t-shirt and a hoodie.  I only call it a hoodie because everyone makes fun of me when I do.  They say it's cute (me, not the hoodie).

I was at The Parking Spot at 7:45 and at the airport by 8.  In hindsight, I think I'm going to have to start hiring the airport "Super Shuttle" to take me to the airport.  It's a bit easier to wait for someone to pick you up than it is driving your own self to a place to park.  It's also a bit less expensive if you're planning to be gone more than 5 days (depending on how far from the airport you live).

Trip through security was fun as usual.  My insulin pump set off the metal detectors.  The nice airport security (TSA) lady asked me to try again so I did and it went off again.  She smiled and took me aside and said something like, "Sometimes those pumps pass right through and sometimes not.  Now, we need a male assist and I don't see any males."

I laughed and said, "That's not nice, I see a big burly man right there."  I pointed to a tall, rugged looking officer from the DFW Police Department.  She laughed and explained he didn't work for TSA.

She found a gay guy who had just moved in from New York City.  He was young and a bit goofy looking.  He wore braces and had the jet black hair parted on the side and lightly feather, but hanging over his ears.  He reminded me of someone who might have been outcast from a Ricky Martin video.  He proceeded to fondle me while asking how I liked living in Dallas since he had just moved here from New York.

The three hour flight left late, but made good time.  We were in San Jose Cabo by 11:30.

Exiting the airport in Cabo is "interesting".  Once you get through security you are accosted by approximately two thousand English speaking Mexicans telling you that your ride is on the way, but it'll take about 10 minutes.  "While you wait, why not step over here and let me tell you about some offers from the hotel where you'll be staying."

If you are able to get away from them (which we eventually were), you are guided through a set of double doors leading to another room.  In the next room there are one thousand English speaking Mexicans apologizing for all the "time share" crooks in the other room.  Then they tell you that they are "really" the ones affiliated with your hotel and they'll get you to your ride which should arrive in about 10 minutes.  "While you wait, maybe you'd like to look over this brochure of events we have going on over the next few days?"

Once you escape this, you finally arrive outside and a Mexican who speaks very bad English helps you find your van to the hotel.

While we were finally waiting for our "real" ride (assuming I understood the directions), an out of breath couple came escaping past the marketing juggernaut and stopped to talk (or complain) to us.  They were on their first anniversary and were a very nice couple.  I don't know that I remember their names.  They  were staying at a hotel in the same parking lot and owned by the same people, but for some reason they had a different ride.  I thought to myself, "Cool, we've already met some people to hang with."  We never saw them again.

The ride to the hotel was an hour long.  Apparently there are no seat belt laws in Mexico and I immediately got to do something I've honestly never done before.  The driver had a cooler between the front seats.  On seeing this I uttered all the Spanish I know, "Cerveza?"  I inquired.

Diego, the driver, said, "Si!  Hablas Español?"

"No," I responded, "Cerveza is the only Spanish I know."

He laughed, opened the cooler and asked me what flavor.  I proceeded to have 3 beers in an hour in a car headed to the hotel without a seat belt and without violating any laws regarding open containers!  It was awesome!  I had left the inappropriately named "land of the free" behind.

That just made me laugh. "Land of the free behind".  I don't think any such place exists.

We made it to the hotel, got cuffed with our "all inclusive" orange bracelets and headed to the room.  We put our stuff away and went to find a place to grab a quick lunch.  Here I discovered the first negative about all-inclusiveness.  They are called buffets and I hate buffets.  Okay, I strongly dislike buffets.  Cruise ships are all you can eat, but they almost always have a restaurant where you can go and order food from a menu.  No such luck here.

We even asked about the dinner arrangements and were told it was "reservation only" for the restaurants with menus.  Reservation only meant first come first serve and the reservations were normally gone by 10 AM.  Of course, the last day we were there we discovered that you can also make reservations two days in advance.  I don't know why.  I was too frustrated to ask.

After lunch I found one of my first positives about "all inclusive".  Sit at the bar, order a drink and they bring you the drink.  There are no tabs, no credit cards, and no money changing hands.  It's the pinnacle of drunk achievement.

I don't remember much more about day one except commenting that my insulin pump oddly looked like there was water in the screen.  It's supposedly a "water proof pump" made by Animas and we had gone swimming.  Ordering a drink at a swim up bar was on my bucket list and was eliminated on day one.  I commented that this "water in the screen" was probably not a good sign, but everything seemed to be working so I didn't worry too much about it.