Sweeping up the remnants of 2007

and dumping the proverbial dustpan contents into the fresh dug pit of 2008...

or How to take back the Neighborhood with some vice grips, quack tape,

 & Top Ramen in 3 easy payments of $19.95......no personal checks please


"When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else. " -Joseph Campbell





The Legions of Tres Peccadillo

(click on the photos to enlarge)

"There's a man drawing pictures
On the sidewalk with chalk
Just as fast as he draws 'em
Rain come down and wash 'em off
"Keep the drinks comin' girl
'Til I can't feel anything
I'm just a chalk mark in a rainstorm
I'm just the beat of black wings."


Joni Mitchell 



June 19 began the embarkation  of two adventures that have taken months of planning.  First a

 birthday party for Emerita, Luis, Jenifer & Karina in their home in El Rosario, Baja.  There was a traditional  fiesta  celebrating  many  cumpleanos  with  piñata,  gifts,  Barbie cake, tequila, Tecate and a BBQ. That evening we  watched a special Spanish language version of Toy Story, Lord of the Rings & Harry Potter on their new Joe's garage creation of a surround sound system.  Next morning with a ringing still in our ears, it was off to witness the Summer Solstice on the San Carlos Mesa ceremonial site via Mission San Fernando Velicata and the copper mines. With Capn'Rob & Tomas Byrnes at my trusty side, we innocently ascended up that "un camino no en ningún mapa" hereby known as HELL's HAULWAY (for reasons I care not to esplain at this time).   I  have  been  able  to  interpret  several of  the  mesa petroglyths  which  has  sparked  a  new  direction  of  discovery  & exploration. After two failed attempts to witness the sun entering its house (obscured by clouds) I faced the music or should I say six hours of Joseph Campbell with a fresh bottle of blue agave. At night's end all was made right with our world  (at least I was seeing two of everything) until next year, when it happens all over again.  I set a new personal best for endurance - 3 trips to El Rosario and 2 round trips to the top of the Mesa - all in 48 hours!  There are no plans for breaking my own record in the future and if by chance you hear me say I am ...have me immediately  committed  to  the  El  Rosario  El  Hogar  para  El  Inquietó.  This grand experiment will no doubt end up in the proverbial Windsurfing funny papers or with any luck on the wide screen.  Many thanks to Capn' Rob, Thomas Byrnes & Rodney  for providing me with the perfect Baja traveling companions and source material for many great stories.

 (birthday photo courtesy Capn' Rob, six-pack of soldiers -Rodney)



Floating down the Blue Agave Nile on a Big Blue Barge

"Here's to ole Soup Cans , cuz he really nailed it when he said- ""When you follow your bliss - roads will appear where there were no roads (and there tweren't no road today!) and where there would not be a road for anyone else" " SAA-LUDD!" - Capn' Rob after his confession, somewhere near the horse latitudes of our mortally wounded bottle of Casadores Tequila high atop the San Carlos Mesa in the suburbs of Eden.  6.21.03 Summer Solstice right around 10PM.

Recollections & Reformations on HELL'S HAULWAY

Somewhere during day three into that grand agave consciousness, I had the recollection of one of my great misadventures of the past.  Trouble was nobody wanted to listen.  It hit me at the bottom of a rather  large irregular rock in the  road during our final ascent to the mesa top.   We  affectionately  nicknamed  this  tumultuous  passage  HELL'S HAULWAY.  The  rock  shall  remain  nameless as there were way too many of his relatives of similar stature strewn along the way.  20 minutes into our "Toads Wild Ride"  my companions became quite contrary as they were being tossed about the cab like so many clothes in a dryer, glaring at me with distain combined with just a pinch of horror and scosh of pain.  Even Capn' Rob, a seasoned Baja Bush Pilot retained a classic pensive  look  as  he  maintained  a  death  grip  on  my  dashboard.   Too bad.  I  could  have  taken their minds off the severe  throttling  we  all  were  taking by  recounting  my  tale.  I  am  afraid  to stop and survey  the almost certain damage to my suspension system.  The "Like a Rock" Chevy truck ad campaign crossed my mind as my blue beast creaked, groaned, and crawled over the boulder strewn  landscape.  I  found  that  I  dare  not  touch  the  accelerator.   Idle-ing  movement  in first gear was almost too much effort.   

But I digress.  I hadn't thought about the incident for some time. I am reminded of it every time I watch Raider's of the Lost Ark.  I'm always tempted to stand up and cheer when the monkey eats the bad date.  Bad Monkey.


 It is interesting how time has the unsolicited task of either tainting the facts or marinating that recollective brisket.  I'm refering to my story that is...which was quickly being over shadowed by this carny ride from the Cerdes Carn-i-val.  I think it all started after I consumed some mad cow tainted beef from a seedy back alley food court in Cairo. My partner swore it earned an honorable mention in our guide book.....he later admitted his cerebral wires got crossed and in fact it was in a medical journal he found in the seat pocket of our commuter flight.  I had ordered the braised wombat, my partner a goat cheese and entrails salad.  I was distracted by a monkey dressed in colorful, traditional garb who while winking at me from the open window ledge was doing those things that monkeys do when bored. I was flattered. I never heard  the waiter inform me in very broken King's English about the minor substitution to my luncheon special.  The real insult came later when my partner hired him as our personal guide and chauffer to "see the ruins".  After a "sump"tous meal and animal planet floor show we were crammed into his dilapidated import's import with a cardboard rear door and blaring 8 track of high pitched warbling, wailing crooners &  mesmerizing  toe flutes. We were sent off with a backfire and a grinding transmission gear  to view the "antiquities" which oddly were in the opposite direction from the sphinx.  I admit that my Egyptian could have been better but I'm positive that my partner ( who was Bogarting the English/Egyptian translation book) did not request that we be taken to the Cairo Municipal Dump.  But  there we were, knee deep in stinking third world garbage when I exploded at Ashmel our waiter/guide who was now arguing with  my partner over an additional gratuity.  The major disagreement that ensued resulted in Ashmel, having now cultivated a full raging snit, leaving us at the gate.  We were on our own, miles from town, amidst piles of the most gawd awful refuse with a collection of toxic fragrances that to this day will, on sweltering afternoons, still seep from the deepest depths of my sinuses.  It was horrific and not the least bit interesting!  So into the blinding sunset we trudged, arguing all the while about every little thing we now loathed about each other, a result of traveling thousands of miles together with two very incompatible lifestyles..  It was around midnight when we finally stumbled back into our hotel  only  to  find  that  Ashmel  had  ransacked  our  room  searching  for  my  partner's "favorite magazines".  As a final act of retribution and impertinence, he deposited upon my partner's pillow, a perfectly sculpted complimentary steaming brown rosette of his own consumption. Unfortunately this turn down service was not realized by my partner until he plopped down on the bed in exhaustion.  I was so elated at Ashmel's unselfish act that I frequently woke myself up that night giggling.  My come-up-ence arrived around 4am when a rumbling from my own furnace, that rivaled Vesuvius, almost knocked me out of bed.  I began having feverish nightmares about that monkey, now dressed as the Mad Hatter serving tea to me and the wombat from lunch.   In Ashmel's broken King's English- he spoke, "Pardon me, for I am only the busboy from fate's cosmic kitchen, sent out front by the head chef  to inform you of an ever so slight substitution to your order. 'So what's it going to be then?.... do you want to spend the rest of your life as an entrée' or a side dish?, entree' or a side dish?, entree' or a side dish?  My fever broke sometime later the next night, the toilet broke soon thereafter.  Occasionally when I've miscalculated the rate and load of my thirst for agave I am haunted by that refrain and the snide grin from that Lewis Carroll monkey and his wombat companion.


 Surviving  two roundtrips on HELL's HAULWAY puts Cairo, Ashmel and that randy monkey on  faded memory status,  replaced by an even more horrific episode of hijinks.  At some point you have to ask yourself...was it worth it?  I have yet to get an answer from my traveling companions because I haven't heard from them since. photos- Driscol-Byrnes-Merritt

 just a small bite size morsel folks, a table scrap from the longwinded saga of Beyond the Blue Agave ...stay tuned when Tom turns to Rob & mutters in pig Latin "I think he's finally lost it for good, you distract him...I'll get his keys."


...and now we return you to our normal programming


The last 36 months have been nothing more than chapters of a fantastic Sci-Fi mystery  with each passing month adding another cosmic episode.  I think the most pivotal event of the year was the violent shaking of my creative soul whose components lay dormant on the bottom of a snow dome device of my own construction - mired & stifled.  Thank you MC & the San Carlos Mesa Equinox Indian site for opening my eyes.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't reap another benefit or another insight.  I am now seeing what were once strategic active elements fall away or disappear and being replaced by  a new interlinked paradigm.  It conjures up an image of the famous NASA footage where the glowing missile stages fall away after they have performed their functions. 

I believe I still miss the raven MC the most. Must be the rare properties of the palindromic number- 2002. There were many lessons & blinding insights that have changed my life.  It is extremely difficult not to focus on the messenger when  the message is so dynamic ....but like it or not, the content is still the real key.  Past experience reminds me not to look at anything in its assumed totality but more like its minute contribution to a bigger picture.  That's why I opted not to say goodbye but instead " until next time".   Still I am constantly amazed at how this journey  with its twists and turns, dead ends,  perils & rewards, keeps one door closing so close behind me while another opens next to my nose.  A very special posthumous thanks to Joseph Campbell for adding a sense of order to all this with his "Power of Myth" & Victor Villasenor for his novel "Rain of Gold". Un gracias especial to Maria Escurra for introducing me to Hispanic literature prior to my Immersion experience this fall.


My journey this coming year will take me to Baja  - back up to the Mesa San Carlos and deeper into the immersion experience in El Rosario & the Fish Camp.  I plan on learning as much as I can about the lost civilization that inhabited the Punta San Carlos Area.  Amidst all that there will be many surf & sail & photo sessions


The MISSION for 2008 - "Follow Your Bliss & Follow Through"


To sum up the mission I defer to the Beatles'

Fixing a Hole



by John Severson

This poster was created by famed artist Rick Griffin for John Severson's Pacific Vibrations epic surfing movie circa 1970.  It was John Severson's exiting tribute to surfing and the surfing publishing world. Both movie & poster redefined surfing movies & surfing art. It was a time of evolution.

The poster, made for  movie theater marquees was printed on both sides with the image upside down on the reverse side giving the poster a 3-d effect when rear lighted.

I have one of the double printed posters which John Severson recently signed.  I spoke to John about the movie which cannot be re- released due to issues with the musical artists.  "I was a statement for the times...which were at that pivotal point in surfing's history - the transition from longboards to shortboards."  Unfortunately that time  was a great era of experimentation as is the style of the movie.  The riders are attempting to adjust their styles to the new dynamics which by today's standards is "tame".

I recently re-examined the visual elements of the poster which I feel make an uncanny statement to events I have experienced in my life over the last two years.