Saturday, April 22, 2006


as you can see from my sidebar i just found out that my blog is totally worthless.

(actually not true because i already got a free beer for mentioning tranquila bar in a previous post...nah, nah, nah!)

this would tend to vindicate the judgement pronounced upon me by the lovely people who ran the orphanage i grew up in. i hope they can see this through the smoke and flames in that place they now call home. i look forward to seeing them again when it's time. i just hope they don't let the fire go out. a good barbecue needs a really hot fire.

i love things like this, though. the little reminders that life throws you every now and then that you're really just a human being after all.

and the timing, as usual, is perfect.

i've been telling myself lately that i'm pretty special in all kinds of ways. (i won't bother you with the gory details because, at the moment, they're rather embarassing)

the good news is, having a worthless blog means i don't have all that much to live up to. i can wallow in mediocrity and still not lose a step.

suddenly i don't feel so bad for not shaving today. i can cook my beer dogs (which are, unlike the scribblings of my blog, internationally famous, thank you very much) for the dive shop tonight and feel absolutely no shame.

i am exactly who and what i'm supposed to be.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

being prepared

today is starting out well.

one of my former students (he was in one of my idc and emergency first responder instructor classes) came to me and told me about an emergency he'd just been involved in.

it seems he was on the dock when a boat came in with a diver suspected of having decompression illness. (we are the defacto "emergency room" for the island)

since no one at the scene was willing or able to he assumed the role of incident command. he took on the responsibility and got the diver to the proper medical care. 100% recovery and a happy ending. he just wanted to thank me for the training.

it's really invaluable when people find out that this stuff actually works.

so i'm feeling all smug and proud.

i should probably not play with any sharp objects today.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


last nights sunset from the deck of tranquila bar.

my favorite time of day.

thanks, annie

have a happy one.

Friday, April 14, 2006

blog in space

i have been empowered with a new level of annoyance. has given me the ability to spew my inane drivel into space.

at this very moment my words of great wisdom are traveling to the stars and, possibly, to alien civilizations who, i'm sure, have nothing more important to do than read this shit. i expect to be contacted any day now.

maybe they have reefs that haven't been completely ruined by stupidity and greed. i'd really like to dive one of those.

of course there is the possibility that they will find earth and destroy us all as a result of my missives.
it would amount to a mercy killing, really. at least it would be less messy than the long slow suicide we're working on now.

even the dolphins won't be able to save us because we're killing them, too.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


one of the things i do on this little island is help operate the hyperbaric chamber.

the day before yesterday we admitted a patient with vestibular decompression sickness. he couldn't lift his head without vomiting; couldn't sit or stand up. he'd been drinking alcohol every night and diving for five days and never, in all that time, touched a glass of water. this is a bad thing for divers and ultimately brought him to me.

today was his third treatment in as many days and he still is not 100%. we're looking forward to another treatment tomorrow.

so, for all you divemasters and instructors out there; please, please, PLEASE remind your divers to drink plenty of water before they dive.

dehydration is definitely NOT a scuba divers friend.

we also had another bends victim come in last night but he's fully recovered today.

semana santa is always a busy week.

Monday, April 10, 2006


the electricity went off at about 5:15 this morning so i decided to walk a little early.

i started up through the point and stopped on the bridge to look east toward the sunrise.
looking across the upper lagoon i watched the sun slowly inch it's way into the sky behind a strip of grey cloud cover. it was one of those mornings when the sun had to wrestle it's way through and, as always,
it was a beautiful show. seeing this reflected in the mirror still lagoon made it even more magical.

rebirth and new beginnings.

from a zen point of view i had just witnessed the creation of a whole new world. a whole new universe.

and, for some reason, from the look and feel of things sandflies have been included in this new world, too.

although i usually don't begrudge the odd meal to a sandfly or six thousand this morning felt a little different so i turned around and made my way to chepa's white hole on the beach to witness the aftermath of last nights inaugural semana santa (holy week) party.

there's big money to be made during semana santa on this little island so the locals set up their beer and food booths and man them 24/7. because the tourists expect, and will pay for, a 24/7 party. fair enough. business is business.

there wasn't as much trash as i expected and the guy who usually cleans the beach was already there doing his job. music still blared; reggeaton, reggea, garifuna drums, country western. (country western?) an eclectic mix fully appreciated only when you can hear them all at the same time.

this is day two of the tourist onslaught and it's expected to continue until friday afternoon. yesterday it was estimated that about 350 people arrived. that will surely swell to the usual maximum of about 700 per day soon. not counting the planes.

it's gonna get crowded.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

power corrupts

it always amazes me when i watch someone turn into their true self when put in a position of power. even though i've seen it hundreds of times before.

it happens every single time. you really can see the metamorphosis from the facade to the real being.

it's a true test of character. and most people fail miserably. they always have great "new" ideas and grand schemes. and they honestly believe that they are the very first person ever to come up with this. it's never been tried before. it's not "improved" thinking. it's really unique, never before invented, totally, radically new.

this way of thinking has nothing to do with the fact that they have no experience or background in whatever situation it is they find themselves in. it's in the nature of a spiritual event. they've been anointed by god himself.

it's during this transformation from man to god that the truth lies.

it's almost never pretty.

and i'm having to sit through this shit again.

Friday, April 07, 2006


there's a ranking system on the blog browser i use that runs on a scale of 1 - 10. the people that read your blog can rate you based on what they think of your blog. (it's about the ratio 1 - 1)

i believe you start out with a rank of 5 (at least i did) and i had worked my blog up to a whopping 5.2. well...this morning i looked and my ranking is now down to a 5.17. i guess i must have pissed somebody off. i just have one thing to say...

bite me.

on another note...i love the blues.

a couple of years ago i noticed that most blues harmonica players i was seeing on the 'net were old, fat, and ugly. this thought kind of percolated in my mind for a while and , one day, i saw my reflection in a window.

"wait a minute...old -- check; fat -- check; ugly -- check, check...i'm a blues man!"

it was right about that time that a friend of mine (thanks, angie) happened to give me a harmonica (it weighed too much for her backpack; angie travels light). i thought i was having an epiphany. other friends gave me a cd and book about learning to play the blues harp (thanks kat and gary). they moved away shortly thereafter. i wonder if there's a connection.

anyway i've been practicing (i had high hopes in the beginning. after hard could it be? this was before i knew about bends and overblows).

i like to take the harp with me on my morning walks and practice where no one can hear me. this is as much for humanitarian reasons as anything else.

today on my walk down to blue bayou i was "playing" when i heard a dog start barking. he was barking at me. now, i've grown up with (some say raised by) and around dogs most of my life and, as a result, i've been able to pick up some of the language. he was saying "woof, woof, ruff" which is dog for "encore, encore!"

well i kept walking back home and he must have followed me for half a mile barking all the while.

i have a fan.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

pinky and the brain

pinky and i were supposed to go to roatan today to try and take over the world .

and although i really want to go and see some friends there i just can't justify the cost.

he's just back from course director school and is all on fire with grand new ideas and schemes. i remember when i was that way. i'm just more battle hardened these days. or cynical. whatever.

he doesn't realize yet the extent of the competitions' reach. the dark side has several years head start and a mangement team who has believed in and fully supported him from the start. it's hard to compete with that when your on your own. not impossible, though. you just have to deal with a lot of discouraging issues before you can do the things you need to do. a lot slower pace of progress.

unfortunately he'll learn.

the weather has calmed down and the sea is flat calm. a good day for diving. i will be taking full advantage of these conditions this afternoon. it's amazing how much stress scuba diving relieves. especially when the water's warm and the vis is good. "hello, my name is jungle and i'm a champagne diver." yeah, yeah.

i'm going to start working more with the divemaster classes. we have gotten almost no idc candidates from there lately and, by all rights, that should be where we get most of them. so i'm sticking my nose into someone else's program. stirring up all kinds of shit.

should be fun.

Monday, April 03, 2006


i think the grackle was right.

my luck is changing. i don't know anything specific but there's a change in the air. i can feel it. i can smell it.
good things are happening to friends of mine. good people who deserve good things.

dunia got her restaurant and bar back today. it seems deadwood is as talented at losing money in that business as he is at losing money in the dive business. the amazing part of this is that the owners actually
took steps toward that end. this is a very encouraging sign. today (lunch) was her first day back and she's already got a full restaurant. this is a time of restoring faith.

and i feel a surge of new growth is starting to happen in my own life. i've been living on this island for ten years and, while i've truly loved most of it, this was the first time i've actually been shit on by a bird. i've been accepted. approved. initiated.

and i know enough to be grateful for the bad times. they teach you to appreciate the good times. a friend of mine used to say..."i know that when one door closes another one opens but, man, these hallways are a bitch."


Sunday, April 02, 2006

the grackle

good luck

the locals here in utila believe that anything that falls on you from the sky is a sign of good luck.

that grackle just gave me a sign.

i am one lucky sombitch.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


FEMA alert

it's come to my attention that, as news of further decline in the quality of jungle life spreads around the world, it is causing some concern among a small group of associates enclaved in London.

FEMA (Fans of Everything Mostly Alcoholic) has apparently issued a global plea for intervention into the rapid devolution of this unique species. "the defoliation of the former vastness of this particular jungle threatens the very fabric of the universe as we know it". Ben "the Professor" C., chairman of the board, said in a hastily prepared statement released to the press early this morning (or late last night...whatever).

teams of specialists, armed with large quantities of guinness and pizza, are preparing to embark on a mission to
utila to stop (or at least slighty impede) this rapidly spreading (or not spreading) condition.

relief efforts have proven unsuccessful to date due to team members testing the guinness for purity.