“El Castillo” The temple of the winged serpent Kukulkan. He was a bit of a bass-ass and live-heart-ripping-out monster-god-dude.


It is impressive to look up and think – “Glad I’m not being sacrificed today!” … but, you can imagine the scene.


Kukulkan guards the steps to his Temple.


Here he is again on the “wall of skulls” where they use to place the heads of defeated warriors. No – these ancient Mayans were not easy going in any way. Small and very angry people by all accounts on the walls at this site.


More graphics with common themes of heart-ripping by various animal type gods.


The ball game arena is impressive. This is detail of a high place for important people to sit. Kind of Mayan luxury boxes -This is where Mayan Chris Christie would hug Mayan Jerry Jones after the game.


They call this “the snail” – believed to be an ancient observatory…you know, so the sacrifices lined up with the stars.


Another view of “The Snail”


Here is “actual size” me in front of some ruins (I am not tall, alright I may not even be average height, but here, I am good).  This ancient world is a good fit for me, except for all the extreme violence and hardship of course.


Shipping tourists to this site is big business – these buses are new, clean and plentiful. Here is a selfie of me and my son taken in the reflection of a shinny wheel.


This was a great trip — I need to say that all the violence and sacrifice came from the tour guides who would remind us of a chilling new way to be dispatched at each ruin we visited. This site was already abandoned a couple hundred years before the Spanish arrived – where we had another great round of blood-letting and savagery ensue.

I loved the food at the Mayan restaurant we visited after touring the site.

And I feel a connection and sadness for the Mayan people that still live in the area of their “lost’ civilization. It seems that they do not share in the fruits of this great peninsula  as much as those that came after them.

I was only here a week so I may not have an accurate grasp — they have been here for thousands of years — they have already seen their world completely destroyed at least twice over — and they still approach the day with a smile.

Cheers from the cave!


Road to Chichén Itzá

Another World – My Happy Place

I can’t believe how frozen we still are around the cave – I mean icicles on top of icicles and snow with the permanence of concrete. It’s bizarre – this is officially the coldest and meanest February since the ice age.

And March is starting the same way – more sub-zero cold coming our way.

For my international readers…a.k.a. “the rest of the world” using Celsius (why won’t America just join in and go metric—-please,… already!!! …This is ridiculous! ). Below zero seems a little cold – but 20 below on our antiquated Fahrenheit scale is downright scary.

We have been scared plenty this winter.

We may need walk on the frozen ocean to sure up our supply of seal blubber to get us to July.

Yeah, that kind of cold.



As you know, I spent a week away from it all in Mexico which is going to inspire a few detailed and quality posts – Yeah …  the whole deal – with pictures and profound confessions mixed in with humor and a solid grasp of grammar.

My first in the series is about the trip to the Mayan Capital; lots of great stuff from this trip to share.

It goes from a discussion on the circular nature of Buddhism and the Mayan religion in comparison to the linear model of Christianity (on the bus to the ruins).

Much more on human sacrifice and infighting in the jungle. More than is correct for a civilized society. (Whatever that means)

And THIS – This was amazing.

If you have an appreciation for what beverage fits what situation.

And if you love beer.

You would be simply blown away by how good an ice cold Corona tastes after enduring the heat of the Mexican jungle.

Almost worth the trip alone.

When I returned and saw some guy buying Corona at my local supermarket to “enjoy” in this cold weather —- I shot him a look of disgust and disbelief of the highest order – Dude! – Your beer game is weak – you have no clue! Please push your grocery cart in the opposite direction of mine-and may our paths never cross again.

I am outraged again just thinking about it!

So…., in closing this preview post:

This song fits perfect.

How you feel when you leave a cold dark place and set foot in a warm happy place.

It is bizarre in a good way.

Cheers from the cave!

You marking me, Mate?


You marking me?

That is what the athletic Australian dude said to me in the pool – He said it again, or more like half-yelled it with a little disbelief and disdain thrown in – “You marking me?”

“For as long as I can”  I finally answered and my mind raced around the track of how I got here.

Here is:  Playing a game of football in a pool in Cancun. This did not seem possible – I mean regular people don’t go to Cancun – We go to *Hampton Beach or some other dinky-little-past- its-prime tourist ghetto. We upgrade from McDonald’s to Red Robin and think we are living the dream.

We don’t end up in a pool in Mexico trying to out-swim an Australian—especially one with twenty less years and thirty less pounds of body fat on him.  I think by “marking him”, he means “covering him” – which is indeed what I am trying to do because his team is destroying my team.

This madness must stop – I am going to give it all I got. I could not “mark” him for too long, but at least he went back to his section of the pool.

And my mind is still racing.

Two week-long hospital stays for me with the last one including major surgery since this trip was booked.

There was also about three weeks of recent on and off hospital time for my wife – waiting until two days before we leave before the doctor gives his blessing on the trip. She was in real bad shape only a month ago. We must be insane to leave the United States at a time like this.

We were insane – this is not practical- this is not a good choice.

And we are not financially secure enough to do this: we are just at the point that we are starting to turn the tide – instead of the wolf barking at the door – he is out in the drive-way yelping. But he ain’t going away for a few years yet, even if we stay on track.

What will our neighbors think? – What will our family think?

We should be home and miserable.

This is insane.

My wife simply stated that we have no idea what the future will bring and that we have never been anywhere tropical and that her one wish for this family is we do that please-and that we do it now, while we still can.

So that is how I found myself on the blue team for gametime in a pool in Cancun. We got shellacked by the red team by the way. I mean – you must be crazy to try an’ out-swim an Australian, right?

Yeah, we were crazy.

And we still are.

Thanks to my wife for making us take the best vacation this family has ever had.


*Hampton Beach, New Hampshire – a dinky-little-past-its-prime tourist ghetto.



Rule of Thirds Challenge – My new best friend in Mexico




From “The Cave” on location in Mexico.


This guy would visit us each day at poolside and we named him “Fred”.

Like many of my WordPress friends: I have no idea what his or her real name is or even if he is a him or a her. But always happy for the visit.


Because he/she gives me a unique iguana perspective that makes me think, smile and feel better.

And he doesn’t have to do anymore than he does to get that reaction. In this case; just crawl out and grab a little sun to warm up in the morning.

Just like my favorite bloggers – making the internet a better place by doing what they do.

The lesson here is “be yourself and enjoy being yourself” – because that gives others the courage to enjoy being themselves as well.

I love Mexico.

Cheers and viya con dios from the cave.



Grammys go to hell


AC/DC plugged in and took all the fluffy stars on the “highway to hell”.

Everyone was dancing around the fire, and for a switch this year – almost all were fully dressed (Lady Gaga does not count).

L.L Cool J said it was all uphill from here – The devil lied.

Madonna with her faceless-horned-entourage was waiting in the wings with eyes wide shut.

Even Pharrel’s “Happy” was turned into a tragic complex opera.

It was a bit over the top for me.

All the red, black and fire – all the time.

Can we dance a little without burning our toes?- please Mr. Grammy – just a little bit?


I made it over two hours and here is what I liked:

Beck getting a couple of awards – Class act for alternative music.

Ed Sheeran with a great performance of “Thinking Out Loud”- although he lost it when he joined up with Jeff Lynne.

[Oh – no… rant ahead —-beware of falling rock stars]

I did not know that Jeff Lynne had attained demi-god status for all those fun little E.L.O. songs; he must have taken some of that money he stole from Sam Smith through Tom Petty and put the band back together.

Which makes the whole thing awkward.

Now ,…  Sam Smith and Jeff Lynne in a boxing match would have been cool. Let’s settle this like gentlemen.

I am sorry – but “Won’t Back Down” was a forgettable little tune by a couple forgettable rock stars who somehow bullied their way to credit through lawyers and “nice speak” —-Let it go people! —There is nothing new under the sun—-all new music is a re-hash of something —all new music is inspired by everything. This fresh swanky English dude somehow makes a pie that tastes good- and it is a free-for-all of stale rock stars sticking their finger in for credit!

[but, I much digress]

And now for song of the year.

Stand by Me – Written by Sam Smith…. and Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne… and a 2% credit to the carnie  whistling while operating the “Swifty Glide” at the country fair that Sam visited while writing this tune.

Pharrell said it – Awkward



The Grammys have gone to hell.

Note: If Sia won anything for her transcendent “Chandelier” –  I may be in a better mood- maybe we can add “Best confusing dance moves in a pop video performance” to the slate for next year.

Cheers from the cave!



Photo Challenge – Scale



OK, I admit to a cheap re-heat of an oldie – but almost nobody saw this post when first published and it fits the challenge so well.

From the top of White Face Mountain is my big backyard called “The Adirondack Park”.

I am thinking that I may be “coming out” to the blogging world as a photographer — please forgive me – it is starting to happen and I can’t stop it.