Found In the Woods

May 17, 2007

Digging the Pearl

Filed under: Blogging — bsullivan @ 8:01 am

I’ve never really been into cellphones. They tend to overly bore me (I’m not one of those dudes who wears the borg-like ear piece and is seemingly on the phone at all times, in fact I rarely answer the phone while driving) or overly excite me. (OMG you can take PICTURES on your phoen?! …and teh emails!??!!1! …AND teh Interwebs?!!11!?) While I was in Mexico a month ago one of my friends was showing us his new Blackberry Pearl, which he got free w/ contract from on the T-Mobile network.

When I saw this thing I was totally hooked. My phone was getting old and showing its age. I wanted something more full-featured and I was ready to step up to a smartphone. I really dug the idea of having a mobile camera and email access anywhere. I know, I know, I sound like I just crawled out from a rock. Well, in a sense I have, because I’ve owned a long string of very basic phones, never really wanting to get too involved, until now.

My Pearl arrived a few weeks ago from Wirefly and so far it’s been a blast. So many times I find myself checking in on email, doing instant messaging on the fly, from anywhere there’s a signal, and generally enjoying to use the phone. I still have to get myself acquainted w/ some of the more complex features (like music, Blackberry IM, etc.) but I have time. I’m also going to crossgrade my copy of Missing Sync to support Blackberry (currently have the Palm OS version, which I love) and seek out some more charging/data cables.

SO, as a result of this, I’ve set up a new gallery of my mobile photos on my Flickr site:

May 8, 2007

La Cucaracha

Filed under: Blogging — bsullivan @ 7:50 am

A couple weeks back 6 of my oldest and best buddies went to Mexico for a long weekend of R&R. We had a blast, to say the least. I’d never been to Mexico and it was a good introduction to some of the grittier side of life there. I flew out with Oozy on Friday and we made it to SNA with no problems. Ben & Felix (who’d flown in earlier) met us at Enterprise. We rented a van, packed it up and headed to Wahoo’s Fish Tacos for some lunch. The Maui Bowl is just amazing; get it if you ever go there. We ran a few errands around town and then headed to the train station to pick up Bowis & Nick (who’d flown to LA a day early to hang w/ Bo). We headed South in the throes of Friday evening CA traffic, which has to be some of the worst I’ve ever seen. It took us about three hours to get to the border. In the pouring rain… come on Cali! Where’s the sun?!

We picked up some Mexican auto insurance and crossed the border into Tijuana. The extreme poverty and filth of this city is overwhelming. I’ve never been to a third world nation but this is what I imagine it to be. Everywhere we looked was broken down buildings, dirt, wrecked cars, junk and the smell was terrible. It had been raining all day so the sewers were overflowing with raw sewage. Along the highway you could see storm drain covers spewing brown sewage like fountains. We saw one house where a lady was using a bucket to bail the sewage out of her first floor room onto the street. Shacks and “houses” cling to hills precariously and there is junk covering the landscape. Beggars thread the cars on the highway traffic with bravado as we crept through town.

Once we made it through TJ things cleared up as we headed South along the coast. Not much to say, only more and more run down towns and new posh skyscraper hotels along the beach every mile or so. There are some amazing vistas and it’s a shame that Mex hasn’t capitalized too much yet on this. Sure there are lots of nice houses here and there, but the run down areas far outweigh the nice ones. Trump is even building a complex down there. Our destination was Las Gaviotas, a walled community of little houses on a hillside overlooking the ocean. We made it down with no problems and quickly got settled in. Newcott & Bowis grabbed their surfboards and headed out to catch a few waves while we enjoyed the incredible sunset.

The house we got was fantastic. A three bedroom, fully furnished place with nice amenities and space. Our house was right on the water, had a roof deck and a patio, where we spent most of our time drinking cerveza and RBV. The first evening we headed to Puerto Nuevo for some “lobsters”, which are more like baby lobsters but good nonetheless. The food down there was good. Regardless of where you went, food was tasty and cheap. We ate and headed back home for some drinkin’ and movies/hot tub, which seemed to be the general routine of the trip.

Next day we got up and headed to Fat Raoul’s for some Mexican Eggs. (*The name of the place is Raoul’s but last year when a few of the guys were down here the proprietor who worked there was a ginormous dude who they nicknamed Fat Raoul) and beers. This day happened to be a big Baja bike ride so the roads were closed for a little while. It was perfect b/c we got a bucket of beers and hung out to watch the bikers go by and enjoy the locals try to navigate/negotiate/overpower the police on the roads. One truck driver actually managed to back his double-trailer back the exit ramp and onto the nearby main highway. We headed South to try to hit Ensenada but again, the traffic and road situation turned us back. We eventually ended back up where we started and hit a local ATV rental place. For about $20/person we rented ATVs for 1:15 and rode ’em all over the dunes there. It was a riot. Only Oozy flipped his ATV and luckily no one was hurt, which is surprising since we were criss crossing and passing each other and other ATVs constantly. Back home for some lunch and lounging on the roof deck, enjoying the sun and the company. That night we headed to Rosarito for some local fare and nightlife. The towns are nuts there, wherever you go you are hounded by the proprietors of restaurants/bars with “deals” and specials endlessly. We lit of a few local fireworks on the beach and headed back home.

The next day, our last in Mex, we headed back to Fat Raoul’s for some more Mexican Eggs and margaritas this time. The ritas were fantastic and the food great as well. Simple and cheap, just the way we like it. The rest of the day we spent sitting on the patio in the sun, chatting, drinking and just generally catching up with each other. All of us have been friends for over 16 years now and some of us don’t get to see each other more than once or twice a year. This was the best time, just hanging out, I think we would all agree. After a little hemming and hawing, we decided to pack it up later that night and head back to Costa Mesa, CA. We decided we didn’t want to drive in traffic the next morning and risk missing our flights home. The Newcott’s were gracious enough to allow us to crash on their floor (literally) that night, and of course, back in California, it was raining. Seriously Cali, what’s up with all this rain?!

The last day we all packed into the van while Ben went to work. We dropped Felix, Bo & Nick off at the airport while Oozy and I headed back to SNA to catch our flight with time to spare. All in all this was a great trip. No one got hurt (unlike last year where Bo nearly was blinded) and everyone had a blast. We’ve made a pact to have a guys trip each year somewhere in the world, and I’d say this was a good start. In my mind the only thing that would have made it better was more time.

Photos are online.