Enter Kelly Slater

By 2005, I was able to convince Kip & Spuds that Lance Armstrong deserved to be at the same table as Babe Ruth, Muhammed Ali, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods.  A cozy little table for five.  Lance’s achievements rung a little closer to my home than theirs, but they had hung around me long enough to know how unprecedented his fitness, combined with his competitive hunger, really was.  Lance took it to the craziest, most unimaginable level.  In every phase.  In every way.  And it all went down in Europe.  It’d be the equivalent of some American Soccer Player coming along and becoming as good as Messi.  No chance.  No way.  Once in a blue moon.  And even with all the information coming out these days regarding him being a cheat and a liar, his sporting accolades, namely his 7 TDF titles still shines brighter than the Palmares of his ‘supposed’ table-mates.

Enter Kelly Slater

So me and my two close friends would talk regularly about this fictitious table for five.  And the most common thread between these five athletes was that they single handedly Transcended Sport.  Not only Their Sport, but All Sports.

Transcend /tran’send/ v   Be or go beyond the range or limits of (something abstract, typically a conceptual field or division).

Born in 1895, Babe Ruth produced stats in baseball that FAR surmounted any player of his era.  His 714 Career Slams, .342 lifetime batting avg., and his 2200+ RBI’s stood firm for quite some time.  His 1200 IP combined with his 2.28 ERA proved that The Bambino could do it all.  Then there was his 59 Home Runs in 1921, followed by his whopping 60 HomeRuns in 1927.  Not to mention all the whispers about him being able to claim and predict his home runs.  And what about all that black and white film that captures him “fast running” the bases even though he was a slow poke?  Hot dog eating champion.  Party Animal.  Couldn’t deny The Babe of his Cigars & King’s Crowns.  His $100,000 salary was 20x that of his peers.  The Big Boy earned himself a candy bar, which is still my all time favorite.  As a side note, I used to tell kids in school that I was named after Hank Aaron.  He got a candy bar too, and I happen to love the Oh Henry as well.  It just wasn’t in Caddyshack.

Enter Kelly Slater

Muhammed Ali always gets thrown into the best athlete of All Time conversations, just like you can’t talk about the NFL greatest of All Time without mentioning Jim Brown’s name.  He became Ali long before it became trendy to change your name.  He publicly resisted, refuted, and made mockery of the draft, all the while rubbing elbows with Malcom X, MLK and dem sortz a fellas.  He was handsome, and pretty, and he floated like a butterfly.  He spoke his mind as a black man in the racially prejudiced country that we still live in.  And who can forget about his unlikely friendship with Howard Cossell?  And to top all that off, he was The Self Proclaimed Greatest of All Time.  But make no argument, Muhammed Ali fought spirited 15 round boxing matches all over the world, at a time when Heavyweight Boxers surely roamed the earth.  3 of his 5 career losses came when he was in his late 30‘s.(Berbick, Holmes, & Spinks)  In his prime, he lost once to Ken Norton, and once to Joe Frazier.  He also beat them big boys too.  And Down Goes Frazier!!  He was a BAAAAD man!

Enter Kelly Slater

What can you say about MJ that already hasn’t been said.  Sort of a fading icon if you ask me, and as I am sure most real sports fans have begun to mutter.  Even the “experts” are allowing Kobe’s name to creep into The MJ Debate.  Especially if Kobe gets his sixth title.  Then of course Lebron is coming of age, and who knows what that BEAST will end up becoming.  I guess my point is that Michael Jordan absolutely put the third sport, NBA basketball, on the map for absolute good.  It always took a two or three player combination of NBA players to identify the era. And along comes Michael Jordan.  Guy makes a trillion zillion dollars with the whole Air Jordan phenomenon.  Spike Lee commercials.  You remember.  But then there’s the womanizing and the gambling.  And then the failed mini comeback.  And what did HIS Charlotte Bobcats finish the year…10-72??  Da Bulls!

Enter Kelly Slater

Tiger Woods.  Good Gads!  He’s got to be relegated to the kids table.  He had his chance.  In the end, His one time “good friend and whistle blower” Roger Federer made himself a stronger case for this fancy dinner table of five than Tiger Woods ended up making for himself.  Woods appeared on pace to double the number of majors that Jack Nicklaus set forth a generation prior.  He was absolutely crushing the ball, and playing Uber-clutch golf week in and week out, Major In & Major Out.  What about the Tiger Slam?  The guy had it all.  Unique name.  Black Man in A White Man’s Arena.  Clearly a once in a lifetime sort of athlete.  But now he is stuck on however many majors.  14 is it?  And then all his well-documented domestic BS.  I’m done talking about this clown.

Enter 11x World Champion, Kelly Slater.


I just have to give a shout out to The Boswell Family of Bend Oregon.  One of their own, namely Ian Boswell, has signed his first European professional cycling contract with the Very Best Cycling Team in the World.  And the kid’s just 22 y/o.  He signed w/ Team SKY, the team of 2012 Tour de France Champion Bradley Wiggins.  As IBoz was quoted as saying, “It’s like signing a contract to play for the NY Yankees in baseball.”

I(We) just really don’t know what to make of it.  I do know that he will be groomed to be a long time participant in the Tour de France, if not an eventual winner.  It blows me(us) all away.  And to think that I was riding his uncle off my wheel for all those years up in Chico.  LOL.  And now, his 22 y/o nephew, is poised to be a professional athlete at the VERY highest level in the sport.  Stay the course young man.  You Owe Us.


Kramer Style

I chose a spot without a kitchen.  No kitchen fell under the Con column obviously.  I just figured I could make do.  I convinced myself how down to earth it would be to keep things in a cooler.  I’d get one bowl.  One spoon.  Cave man sort of stuff.

I chose a spot with a bathroom.  A bathroom didn’t really have a column obviously.  I just figured I needed one.  I convinced myself how clean I could make myself be in this dirty environment.  I’d get soap.  Shampoo.  Those kinds of cleaning agents.


The lack of kitchen began to gnaw at me, and as I slowly began to do something about it, I realized that making a kitchen isn’t so easy.  And sort of costly.  And then I finally hit myself over the head with my dumb stick when I realized that no matter how Sunset Mag I was going to make my kitchen, I was still going to be without a kitchen sink.  It’s always something here!

So I just said fuck it and began doing the dishes and washing the fruits and vegetables Kramer Style.  First off, when you’re showering, every other amenity in the bathroom gets soaked anyway.  Every One.  Plus, I take up to a half dozen cold showers per day anyway.  It just makes all the sense in the world.  Different strokes for different folks.  And different soaps tambien.


Trix are for U.S. kids

We have been taught in The States, when choosing to buy anything perishable, to grab from the back.  Least I have.  Need some milk—grab the one towards the back.  Same holds true for yogurts, eggs, tofu, etc..  Like I said, perishable items.  US supermarkets and the like receive new shipments of whatever, and strategically shelf them so that they save on spoilage by making the most likely to spoil product most handily available to the idiot end user.  Example:  Today is Friday The 13th.  Safeway has just received a shipment of previously frozen eggs laid by hens that have been eating their own shit for years.  The eggs are supposedly good until Friday the 27th.  The eggs that are front and center expire on Wednesday the 18th.  Joe CattleCall Homeowner buys those ones because somehow he wasn’t taught any differently.  He goes home, and a week later he makes a big ol’ six egg omelette.  It tastes great and nothing bad happens.  Au Contrair Mon Frere! 


I’ve been coming to Puerto Escondido for years.  I’ve come to learn a lot of things about nothing.  They call it trivia in the US.  Then they make a game out of it, and several people make a ton of money off it, and millions of people waste a lot of their time playing it.  Where was I going with this?  Oh, learning lots of things about nothing.  So here it’s different when it comes to choosing your perishables.  If you choose your Milk from ‘Five Milks Back’, that Milk is sour, and if you go home and pour some all over your Frosted Flakes, it’s going to make you sicker than a dog.  That’s why you choose the one in front.  Just like if you buy cookies or chips from any of the thousands of “Room Temperature Tiendas” that line every road in Mexico, it’s the cookies in front that are the fresh ones.  The ones in back have been there forEVER.  For years I would always pull from the back, and consequently never got a fresh bag of Lords.  Those would be Spanish Oreos.


Reader:  What’s Your Point Guy?

Writer:  Not Quite Sure Guy!

Black & Blue

I had this dream or nightmare or whatever you want to call it.  It was early in the morning.  I was walking with a small cup of coffee in my left hand, and my surfboard under my right arm.  I was headed for a surf.  The plan was to do some light stretching on the shore, and enjoy a cup of joe.  I walked upon a riff between a big wave Gringo Guy from Texas, and a notorious, bad news, Gringo Guy that has been around these parts for the better part of the last 20 years.  The Gringo Surfer Guy is real cool and calm.  The Gringo Asshole Good For Nothing Drug Guy probably has more dirty tricks up his sleeve than you could even imagine.  I just put my head down and walked past it.  I thought it might get ugly.  And if it got ugly today, it would get uglier tomorrow.  And if for whatever reason it didn’t get uglier tomorrow, there would be a day, down this short road of life, where it would get Mother Fucking Ugly.  Eye for an eye kind of ugly. Like I said, I didn’t want to even be remotely associated with any of it.

Here’s where I totally blew it though.  Moments later, while stretching etc., I see Cheeto walking towards me.  Well not towards me, but in my direction.  This guy is a bad ass.  Normally I wouldn’t look at him either.  You almost can’t.  This guy has a tropical glare to his eye that will work you into submission.  But since this was a dream or a nightmare, I decided to engage Cheeto.  “Hey what’s up Cheeto?  Hey look man, I’m a writer.  I am in the process of doing a book of sorts about the surf culture here in Puerto Escondido.  You’re obviously a big part of that.  I know you’ve seen some shit go down out here.  I was hoping maybe we could sit down and talk.  Maybe I could take a few pictures.  Stuff  like that.”  I do have recall of being popped in the face with a right elbow.  My cat like reflexes prevented my already crooked nose from catching the blow. He still caught me good on the lower part of my forehead.  He then walked away with my surfboard, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.

Zip it Zippy

I have a hard time minding my own business here.  I say here, because I most definitely mind my own business in my country of birth, yet the manner by which I refer to minding my own business in the US, is NOT minding your business here.  


You see a GIANT man made ladder.  A ladder made by the 20 laborers on a particular construction site.  You are blown away by it.  You have to see it up close.  A pack of three laborers are close by.  You tell them how awesome it is.  They are out of Coke and take it the wrong way.  You wish your Spanish Brother George were here. 

You see an adorable pit bull puppy, and have to see it.  You begin explaining to this owner that you are a dog whisperer, even though you are not.  Not at all actually.  So you are lying to a stranger about their dog.  They don’t understand you and pull their dog away thinking you are going to steal it.  They tell their big brothers.  

You begin wondering why the most popular yoga studio isn’t so popular any longer.  You find out why.  You see the owner of that yoga studio.  You ask her how business is going.  She has an intuitive feeling that you already know the answer.  She is right.  You sense that you are in trouble.  You ask how bout them Cowboys?

You tell Tino that you are feeling sick.  He thinks that Mexicans make you sick.  You sense that you are talking on thin ice.  You try to explain that it’s just different here.  Different bugs.  Different air.  Different flora and fauna.  Different food.  Now he and his wife think you don’t like the food they have been making you every morning.

You see someone here that could be considered a friend.  You notice his dog isn’t in the backyard.  You ask where’s his dog is.  Right there!  Can’t do that here.  It gets you in trouble.  It’s goes beyond not minding your own business.  It encroaches on meddling in someones business.  Meddling is really, really bad.  Shame on me.


In with the Old

Lots of Grandmas and Grandpas around here.  Same amount I guess as anywhere.  Difference is here you see them and there you don’t.  I take that back.  There you see them in line at CVS pharmacy, and driving slowly in cars heading to Costco.  Here you just see them.  And they got it made here.  They are the kings and queens of their designated castles, and always dressed in colorful sundresses and flip flops.  They cook, clean, do laundry, and watch the children.  They aren’t threatened into believing they need poisonous drugs to stay alive.  They aren’t threatened into thinking they should be something that they are not.  They get one Novella on their one TV channel, and they believe every damn word.  They live in peace and die in peace.  They don’t use wheelchairs or crutches.  They don’t wear glasses or high heels.  They most certainly don’t get put away by their own families to live die with other old folks they have never known.


A Pink Panther Strikes

I finally made out.  I’ve been getting ding donged and taken advantage of night and day around here.  For years.  Just yesterday it appeared there was a 30% discount on Special K cereal.  Love Special K.  I get up to the register, and it was full price.  I say, “No descuenta?”  She rattles off three hardliners of tomfoolery where I probably needed to buy two and the third one would have been 30% off.   Or maybe that my next visit I would receive my discount.  Who knows.  In the States, I would have said that I didn’t want it, even if it meant that the checker had to, “God Forbid” cancel out a transaction on the computer.  Wouldn’t even phase me.  I might even wink and ask the checker if she could give me the discount anyway.  “Cmon Lady, you know it’s Corporate Pricing Trickery!”

In my heavily Minoric position,(i guess Minoric should mean a human being of a certain color that is not the same color as just about everybody else) you just take your lumps.  This is a good one too:  I went to buy one fork, one knife, and one spoon.  In the States I would just rip them off from my favorite(or not so favorite) restaurant.  And I’d be doing them a favor.  Ask me why another time.  Needless, I don’t steal here.  OK so fork, knife, spoon.  I spot a 10peso bin.  I pull a fork, a cutting knife,(both matching and w/ wood handles) but can’t find a spoon.  On the shelf above, there is a set, and packaged as so.  Bingo!  Had to be 30p so I thought.  35 at the most.  Of course there was no listed price.  I get to the register, and they ring up as 51p.  50 fucking 1.  Like I said…Lumps.

But Alas!  Long overdue.  It went down like this:  Today I stopped into my favorite fruit stand.  I bought two bananas, two apples, and six oranges.  The nine year old, on what appeared to be her first hour on the job, in what was clearly too small of a plastic bag, put the bananas on the bottom and everything else on top.  Bananas ripen quickly here.  They don’t any help help by getting smushed by fellow fruits.  I saw the bananas going in first and just had to laugh.  Again.  Then the mother tells me that it’s like 27 pesos.($2.25)  I just knew that was way too high.  But what’s a white guy to do except pay The Indian.  And that’s what I did.  I gave her 50 pesos.  She gave me back 73 pesos in change.  I looked left.  I looked right.  I exited straight the fuck out.  Heavens to Mergatroid.


Wave Theory

Wave Theory

by Papa Chango

Waves come and go as an irresistible force. At times the waves are very small and gentle. Other times they are powerful and violent. Sometimes there are great winds or undermining currents, or tides that render the waves near impossible to negotiate. As a surfer, I have developed skills that enable me to mingle with the sea. I have the choice to either swim in the sea or not.

It seems to me that I have come upon a tumultuous sea of ignorance. This sea is filled with floundering souls who are all in sight of a mirage of salvation and struggling to reach there. They are all struggling to be “good people.” They don’t do this and that. They do this and that. They approve of this but not that. They believe this and that is “just wrong.” And they struggle. They want others struggling to think well of them so they adopt ideas, trends, beliefs, fashions, children.

Most of these creatures treading water in the sea have never been taught to swim. Keeping their heads above water just comes natural but they cannot thrive there or move to a more hospitable place. They reach for, but never reach the mirage of salvation. Having done yoga for 38 years is an indication that perhaps there is no goal. Having watched television for 38 years has a similar outcome. Judging one or the other is like fighting over a mirage. So we struggle; you out there and me on the beach watching, but not willing to wade in and turn off the TV.


a nICE story about when to soft pedal

This is what was up on this particular day.  Nothing premeditated about it, which would seem obvious.  It’s just how it all went.  I had heard about a place that sells blocks of ice, and apparently I wanted one.  A half block actually.  Media Barra de Hielo.  But all one word.  And said very fast.  That’s what I needed, and I decided to find it via bicycle.  Thinking ahead, I grabbed a backpack, and both plastic-zippered thingies that protected the two new pillows that I had purchased years back.  These thingies, when not being used to transport a half block of ice, slip perfectly over my Peavy speakers, when not in use.  Basically US landfill.  So I folded up both of those, put them in my backpack, and soft pedaled off on my piece of shit bicycle in search of a half block of ice.

It was midday, with some cloud cover.  I knew about where to go, and took the back way to avoid too much time spent on the highway.  This meant a lot of soft pedaling up steep cobbled roads and the like.  I had to stop into a ModeloRama for a sixty cent ice cold Corona, but more importantly, to hang out inside the ModeloRama and soak in the AC.  You have to drink the beer there anyway so that you can return the bottle.  Might as well spend that time inside a cold room.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Anyway, I did ultimately find the place I was looking for.  Pretty cool spot.  Pun.  I rode up to a couple of hombres who looked pretty cool.  Pun.  I was soaking wet.  Ice was everywhere.  I had flashbacks of my days w/ Champion Nutrition.  Couldn’t tell you why though.

“Media Barra Por Fa”, I said.  “Where you gonna put it Jackass?”  Well I told them I was first gonna put it in this thingie, and then that thingie, and then in my backpack.  They both laughed, and If I had any idea what they told me, I would have known that they were saying that I needed a Quartito and to go pay the lady over there, and come back with your receipt and we will have the quarter block ready.  So that’s what I did.  And surprisingly, that’s what they did too.  Being the hero that apparently I already was in their eyes, I said a couple outlandish things and soft pedaled off with a quarter block of ice on my back.  First time for me.  Despite being that additional 20 kilos to muscle around on a piece of shit bicycle, I must say the freezing cold felt nice on my back.

I stopped by my favorite dude that sells coconut water out of his red van.  That’s where I learned what the word heavy was in spanish.  Because that is how the ice felt on my back.  Pinche Pesado!  For the first time EVER, my guy asked if I wanted Dulce or Simple.  Well Dulce is the way to go around here if you ask me.  It’s loaded in sugar, and ICE cold.  But I told him Simple just to go opposites.  That would be straight coconut water.  Still super cold.  He makes it in advance and it’s sold out of those giant plastic chingaderas.  But anyway…since I’ve become addicted to his Dulce, the simple wasn’t cutting it for me.  So he told me to slam half of it, and then he will fill it again with half Dulce.  I soft pedaled off, one handed, drinking coconut water with ice on my back.

The End