May 27, 2011

See you, in September!

Robert Martinez and Katie Barrett have been here for a week of diving with Enrique's Unique Dives, watching turtles mate underwater, grooving on neighborhood life that's a bit like Robert's grandparents experienced.
This afternoon, they return to Austin and work on Tuesday. So, while we were enjoying the afterglow of our morning smoothies, Robert took an opportunity to tell Punta they'd be back for Labor Day weekend to dive again and spoil her.
She gobbbled it it. She's a slut puppy that way. Anything to get her feet off the floor!

May 25, 2011


Robert and Katie are right! Punta's tail is like a rudder when she swims!

Isla Fishing Families vs NOAA

This photo of Joplin from the Associate Press captured, for me, the essence of what has been going on in the Midwest. As the blood hounds went out in Joplin MO looking for any survivors, another round of tornadoes hit the Midwest and surrounding area, in places like again, Missouri, Nebraska and Arkansas, threatening Texas as well, pelting Austin with hail.
The l0cal papers are filled with it, just like those north of the border (NOB). And so is the local talk. So when I shopped in Cancun Saturday, I was mindful to pick up a few extra canned goods and bags of rice.
We haven't had any real hurricanes since the Category 5 Wilma in 2005, at the end of my first season here. Carmen, the wife of a local fisherman, says she is certain we are due. She is not alone.
It has been so hot here that as early as April folks were saying it's the kind of heat that brings on big hurricanes. My cabbie in Cancun, Carlos Telliz, was saying last month that we could have a hurricane then! Hurricanes exist to break up the heat building up and it has been building.
I studied the issue a little bit on NOAA websites. There is no statistical correlation between early and active tornadoes and Atlantic hurricanes, including the Caribbean. Dr. Jeff Master's Wunderblog notes than NOAA forecasts a 65 percent chance of a greater that normal hurricane season, but the curve is way off because of the five years WE haven't seen a real hurricane in this part of the Caribbean. Many of us are afraid that will all change this year.

May 20, 2011

Low blog season

Becky of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England, just left, so I thought I'd write a blog post. For our readers out there, I hope it breaks the dry spell that my area bloggers are experiencing!
Becky has been on the road for nearly a year and just recently joined the program at
I have had several couch surfers here on the property and thoroughly enjoyed them. Basically. you sign up for the program and CouchSurfers conducts a little background check. All your correspondence with prospective surfers is in secret on the CouchSurfers server, so a record is kept by the organization.
Couch surfers are not impoverished backpackers, but people who want to learn about where you live, about your neighbors and region.
They cook for you and themselves, they wash dishes, make their own beds and change sheets for themselves.
Why would I have these freeloaders around, you ask. Well, they are not freeloaders. Some have picked up all the tabs when I've shown them where the good eateries are. Becky bonded with Punta and walked her a good bit.
Becky took a bed instead of a couch because it had been made up a while and would need changing for paying guests. Dust, salt air and the humidity don't really keep the linens fresh. So it's not a loss. And amazingly, couch surfers don't run up you electric bill by using AC. They are considerate that way.
Becky took me out to eat at Bastos Grill yesterday after staying here a few days. A bad sore throat kept her here longer than planned. When she left, she changed her bed and cleaned up the room. It's ready to rent!
I know of one other person on Isla Mujeres accepting couch surfers. He takes them a few times a year. We're shared notes and you can have the Argentinian artistic dancers, I said to him!
One recent couch server brought me Stevia and quinoa, things we cannot get here. And were it not for another, a German, I wouldn't have had a Lindt chocolate bunnie and eggs for Easter!
I am about done for now since the summer tourists are arriving. Becky helped Carmen and me get the upstairs apartment outfitted for the coming week. And I might blog sooner now that I started moving my fingers across the keyboard!

May 9, 2011

Good dentistry

Dr Francisco Javier Canales, or simply Javier, is my dentist on the island. He works in his private practice when he is not an oral surgeon for the Navy. Sometimes he takes a night shift at the Navy Hospital, so his hours do vary. And I see him the day after tomorrow in the morning after a week of antibiotics to recover from a complication of the oral surgery to implant bone powder into the site where a failed dental implant, gotten in Ohio nearly 20 years ago, failed.
It also infected the adjacent molar, which had to be pulled, meaning I had quite the hole to fill. Dr Canales put some bone powder in in last year, enough to get by with an acrylic bridge. Now I want a permanent bridge.
He is a meticulous man and honest. As he was implanting the powder, he said, Mexicans don't think to restore bone when a tooth is pulled or an appliance surgically removed. Had he had access to it a year ago, he would have grafted in piece of bone to do what the powder will hopefully get done. Instead he installed a little bone powder then also.
The post surgical infection occurred when the casting material disintegrated and I didn't notify him. The surgical site should have remained covered. Not his fault! My bad.
I know I Tweet ad nauseam about this. I'm on Cipro, I took some gifted Vicodin. That's all over now, but it struck me that the readers might think the care is bad here. It is not.
It is true, the equipment isn't the absolute latest, but it is good. He doesn't casually x-ray, believing it's bad for the body. And his x-ray isn't panoramic or digital. It is an old machine and he processes film in a dark sleeve set up. When he is done, he pulls his hand out of the sleeve and puts the x-ray to the light. "Ah, ha," he'll say. Just as he thought, the x-ray confirms.
At any rate, I will need two new crowns and two fake teeth in this bridge when we are ready. It a will cost in the neighborhood of $1,600US, not $20,000.
A friend is here getting a porcelain crown for $400, not $1,200. She's not crazy about his drill with the squirting water. But she liked the price and found his injection technique to be painless for the local anesthesia..
I highly recommend him and am coaching his English a bit. This has led to philosophical discussions about "rinse" versus "rinse and spit." In my opinion, rinse and spit is the way it's said in the US because that's what dentists say to kids who don't know to spit and they just keep saying it. "But who would swallow?" he asks. "It's redundant to say," he argues. Well, I am comforted to hear rinse and spit, so I think Javier has incorporated into his routine. If I am wrong, well, don't forget to spit! Ha, he's right, isn't he?