Saturday, September 30, 2006

Back To Reality

And so in just a blink of the eye the ship docked in San Pedro and the trip was over. Where did time go? How did it swoosh over my head so fast? And yet I know I was there because there are some undeniable things that show that for five nice relaxing days we were sailing. From "racoon faces" to clothing that won't fit properly around the waist... (ummm I wonder why?) And now as the last leg of the trip approaches, we prepare to drive back to Avondale and back to reality.

I need to design a diet plan to lose some of the pounds gained due to the eating frenzy that is cruising, they keep the food coming and they just don't stop. Yes we tried to burn some of it dancing, and running all over the ship, or swimming, but what little exercise we did just wasn't enough because just around the bend there was another restaurnt wainting for us.

As a matter of fact while in Ensenada, after visiting "La Bufadora" we all decided to go and eat fish and shrimp tacos (as if we hadn't eaten enough), but the truth is that if you go to Ensenada you must eat fish and shrimp tacos, they are the best. We were lucky to have a family member drive us around town since he lives there and happens to drive a taxi for a living, one of his buddies let him use his mini bus which was perfect to carry all 19 of us, only one sit was left open, so instead of having a head count each time to make sure we were all there and no one stayed behind we just look for an open space and we knew we were all there.

Another plus in this trip was having my in-laws borther join us in Ensenada. He decided that he would drive all the way from Phenix (a 6-hour drive) to join us there to spend the day with us. To some that may sound crazy, but to us it was another way of expresing family unity and if some of our ideas are crazy, well then so be it. The outcome is just plain unadulterated fun.

We are a picture taking bunch, I think combined we took close to 2000 pictures if not more, as soon as we came back my sister uploaded all the memory sticks into her computer and it took four separate CDs to get them all burned, plus an additional one to get all the little movie files. I will be posting a lot of them in my "Arizona... But it's dry heat!" blog, so after Monday please come and visit, there will be many beautiful shots displayed there.

Until then, have a nice weekend and I'll be back on line Monday ready to do some BOTBs.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My Guest Blogger Chely from "Chely's Memoirs"

I asked my sister to be my guest blogger since I won't be able to post until after the trip, so without further ado here's my little sister taking over for me:

Hello Joe Cool's readers!

I think my brother is in for a surprise. First of all, he keeps saying that he will not be able to post and he already put his hands on three different computers since his vacation started! Do you believe that a Blogger such as he, will actually last a whole week without posting? I don't think so!

As he has been telling you, we are all going on a cruise and he needs to realize that THERE ARE computers on the ship and it has INTERNET access (with a fee of course). Plus, either my son-in-law or myself will take our laptops with us. So, do not fear my dear brother!

Let me tell you that, not only is Joe Cool "picture happy" but so are we. You should see us on family events. Just about all of us carry a digital camera where ever we go. If we are celebrating a birthday per se, the minute a memorable pose is available, 20 of us, (more or less) "click" away! It is funny to view the pictures afterwards and see the same pose in 20 different angles.

Talking about pictures, I don't know how my brother is going to do it, but he'll have plenty of pictures to share. So brace yourself!

On a different subject, I'd just like to take this opportunity to address myself to his loyal readers and share the love I have for him. I'd like to invite you to view the entry I wrote about my brother in my blog's "August Archives". As you may have noticed, he is a family man and our family has always been very close. We have definitely suffered our ups and downs, but the ups heavily outweigh the downs. Either that or we try to find something positive about the situations, learn from them and move on.

So, I'll leave you with a quick "see you soon!" and I hope you enjoy his future posts.
[Don't forget to vote for him!]


Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Road Trip

As fate would have it a computer did make it into my hands, so here I am letting you know that we made it to L.A. early in the morning. Traveling at night is so much more relaxing than during the day, specially when you are crossing the desert. It's also nice be able to ignore the long stretches of road that look endless when you drive during the day. I'm using this Saturday to relax and unwind while at the same time visit my sister and her family.

Something about road trips just appeal to me so much, we never seem to be in a hurry and stop everywhere under the dummest excuses, wheater it's buyin snacks, or taking pictures of the different places we visit, no lack of excuses here, actually the number one reason for stopping is for smoke brakes, since I don't smoke my passangers need to get out of the van oftern. In any case the way I see it, road trips can and will be boring only if you allow it. When I go on vacation it starts the very moment we turn the key and strart the engine.

Just last week I read an article in the newspaper about how Americans are not taking vacations anymore because according to the poll taken there just ins't any time for it. In my case if I have vacation time coming to me I'm taking mine, specially since our policy states "use it or loseit". Time is a precious commodity that if wasted it can't be recovered. Make the time to leave your job, and don't be afraid of going on vacation because when you come back your job most likely will still be there. Unless you think like this guy that got summoned to jury duty, when he got there he asked the judge if he could be excused as he needed to go to work, when the judege asked him isn't anyone there right now that can do your job, his reply was "that's exactly what I'm afraid of".

So as the anticipation increases we continue to wait for the rest of our family coming from Phoenix. By Sunday night they should all be here. Until then I leave you with greetings and salutations from Hacienda Heights, California.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Off We Go!

As some of you may know Miss Britt dissapeared and is nowhere to be found, if anyone knows her whereabouts tell her to hurry back before some of us fans start having Miss Britt's withdrawals. But even her dissapearance won't change my plans to travel to California tonight as our ship sails off on Monday.

Erin from "It's my life... unfortunate as it may be" is showing off her new template, go check it out it's pretty cool. Green is pretty much my favorite color and the graphics are nice as well. Tell her I sent ya! And yes, this is a free advertisment, no BE credits will change hands.

Unless I can get my hands on a computer over the weekend, this could possibly be my last post until I come back from our cruise on October the 2nd. So don't forget me. I may or may not come back with plenty of things to share with you my friends, we'll just have to wait and see but in the meantime keep having fun, and those of you out there battling the flue, I hope you feel better soon.

Also don't forget to visit my photo blog, I have posted some pretty cool new pictures that you may enjoy. Arizona is such a beautiful state that if it was mine I would give you all a little piece of it. Since it's not mine, I'll just give you these pictures. Enjoy!

And as a last note, I finally got frogged today and this is how it went:

This blog looks fine. The header is fine, the sidebar is uncluttered, there's not stuff thrown all over the place. The about me section is on the puny side, and there's no click through to read anything else.
The posts themselves are ok, and I was going to say that the style of writing does not appeal to me, but the author is an ESL blogger. Which would explain the choppiness of the posts. Tuesday is e-mail Tuesday, and he posts an e-mail he received. Not the best content ever, but at least he is limiting it to once a week. Since this is a Blogger template, you can't have a "previous posts" link at the bottom. But there is something cool with the archives, when you have clicked on a link, the link is then formatted with a strikethrough. This makes it very easy to tell which archives I have looked at so far. Excellent idea for a blogger template. (The template does it for all the links, but is most useful on the archives.) However, the links in the posts are shown in smaller type than the other words, which makes me a little crazy. Bold or underline the links, but smaller type is hard to read.
He and his wife have been married for 25 years, which is quite an accomplishment. He is always very gracious and kind to his commenters, which I like in a blogger. But I still don't think his posting will appeal to a wide variety of readers.

Not too far from what I expected, although an additonal bug would have looked cooler, to me two bugs just look too lonely. I'm glad they think my template is not bad, I have my daughter to thank since she is the one that made it for me, matter of fact she is working on a new template as we speak, so it might change again soon.

Mrs. Ribbit is very perceptive, if she can tell I'm an ESL blogger by reading my writing, then she should hear my accent, I've been told I sound like "Puss in boots" aka Antonio Banderas, but darn I don't know if that was a compliment.

Joe Cool's Blog will continue to be a family blog, therefore I will continue to keep it somewhat clean, and since there's no major drama in my life it will also continue to be without any particular theme and to a certain extent on the boring side (now I know why I'm stalker pray on BE BOTBs) and at an average of 150 hits per day I prefer to keep my small but faithful readers, however if out of 1000 browsers only one remains a repeat reader, I'm a happy camper.

All in all, I'm pleased with the review, and just like everything else in life I know that there's always room for improvement.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Have You Seen Me?

Miss Britt is missing, has anybody seen her? Finder's reward will be tons of the best reading in blogland.


Although I did have some tacos yesterday today the lunch truck had a treat for me, they brought one of my favorite meats and I again had two very delicious tacos, maybe if I keep blogging about food they'll continue to bring a good menu... I can only hope.

So the luggage is packed, with the exception of our personal care pouch which will be packed tomorrow afternoon we are pretty much ready to hit the road. The anticipation mounts with each hour as we are all ready to sail. We will leave Phoenix tomorrow night so that we can rest and unwind in L.A. so that on Monday we are all fresh and ready for the food and fun fest that awaits us. I intend to gain a pound or two as all you do on a cruise is eat, eat, and then eat some more. Will I enter the sexy hairy mans leg contest? I don't know. Will I sing karaoke? I don't know. Will I be drinking a lot? I don't know. Will we have fun? Absolutely! That's the whole point of this trip. I have made a commitment of putting myself on a diet after the cruise but for now if there's food I'll just say bring it on Captain!

For those of you new to my blog, this cruise is my wife and my way to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary, and to make it more memorable my mom, my son, my two daughters, and their respective spouces, my sister and her husband and dauther, and my othe sister and her three daughters, her mother in law, her future son in law (well, maybe), and her sister in law (or something like that) will be going with us. What a blast we'll have.

Thanks for the suggestions sent by some of you out there in blog land via your comments. They will be helpful and useful.


To "mi chica":

Here we are baby, 25 years later and we're still going strong. Here's my "I DO" to you for another 25. Love ya baby!


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What's For Lunch?

I just came in to work and I'm already wondering what should I have for lunch? Don't you hate those days that even if you don't think about food your stomach does. I am Mexican and have lived in the United States for the past 33 years and I still can't get used to eating hamburgers or pizzas, yes I like them now but if you give me a choice I prefer tacos and tortas with plenty of salsa, and when I mean tacos please don't think that "Yo quiero Taco Bell" is what's on my mind, I don't even know what kind of food that is. The best Mexican food is not the one you find in the nice fancy Mexican restaurants that advertise loudly, the best Mexican food is probably waiting for you to discover it in your friendly neighbourhood hole in the wall little Mexican restaurant that until recently you never payed any attention to. And now that I have tortured myself with the tought of some delicious warm tacos topped with lettuce, onions and lots of hot red salsa let me snap back to reality and let me go to work. Oh and just so you know my lunch hour is still almost four hours away. Arrrrgh!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Magnificent Sunset

I took this picture last week. There's a cotton field on Thomas and 99th Ave. that leaves the view to the West pretty much clear to shoot sunsets such as this one. The sun actually looked like it had exploded and the pinks, oranges and purples were living in harmony over the horizon.

The Countdown Continues

Well after my birthday has passed I guess I do feel older and wiser. The years just keep swooshing over my head and there's nothing I can do about it but embrace each day and enjoy it. Thank you all for the good wishes, I was overwhelmed with all of your comments, truthfuly I didn't expect so many responses. Lova ay all, you rock!

The countdown continues, there are only six more days till our ship sails but our vacation will actually start on Friday when we hit the road for California. It's nice to see our daughters all excited as this will be their first cruise, boy are they in for a treat. My sister from California is going with us and she will be celebrating her birthday on the second day of the cruise, we're also looking forward to celebrating with her.

When you go out with such a big group it's hard to stay together, the beauty of it is that on a cruise there is something for everyone to do, from eating to sun bathing, eating, rock climbing, eating, dancing, eating, drinking, eating, catching a show, eating, swimming, eating... get the picture. Cruises are nothing but a food fest, and trust me my stomach is not complaining but looking forward to it.

So anybody out there has any advise on what NOT TO DO on a cruise, send them my way, your ideas and comments will be appreciated.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Long Weekend Coming

Hello fellow bloggers, it's Friday once again and I just can't hide my excitement, specially since this will be a three-day weekend for me. Why 3 days you ask? Well let me tell you, on Monday September the 18th I will celebrate yet another birthday. Like a fine wine I'm taking my time to mature because I wan't to age to perfection.

Just three more years and I will officialy be over the hill. I'm posting this today because when I go home I will be internetless and won't be able to post again until Tuesday, I figure this will give you my blogger friends and family an ample chance to send some good wishes my way (I know you want to) .

On a separate note, my "Arizona But It's a Dry Heat!" blog hasn't been getting hardly any traffic so be kind and go visit it if you have a chance, there are some cool pictures of different places in this my cool city of Phoenix, Arizona. While you won't see any tall building pictures or graffity covered wall, you may see a cactus or two, a tree or two, many sunsets but mostly just pictures that show what a beautiful city Phoenix is. Go and visit, you won't regret it.

Have a great and safe weekend.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Does This Happen to You?

Does this happen to you as much as it happens to me?

Every so often I decide to go blog surfing just to see whats out there and after spending some time reading the posts I decide to do some commenting. You know that sometimes posting a comment may take some thought and inspiration so you start typing your heart away and say to yourself about how well your comment is coming along. You try to keep it to maybe 100 words or less but this particular post deserved better so you typed 200 words. Boy oh boy this comment may even win me the Pulitzer price. You give it a once over, fix a couple of typos here and there and now you are ready to post it.

Scroll Down...

Type your blogger name

Tab over...

Type your URL



Scroll some more

and the next step is to enter the word verification letters which I call "The squiggly letters"

But wait a freaking second...

Wait minute...

Where are the freakin' squiggly letters?

All you can see is an "X" where you know the squiggly letters should be and without those stupid squiggly letters there won't be any words of wisdom from me posted anytime soon.

But guess what?

If I write a dumb comment, as if by magic, the squiggly letters are there.

Go figure!


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Money Isn't Going Down the Drain

I don't understand why if you pay for cable you watch regular TV. If I'm paying for cable I'm going to watch shows on cable and I'm going to watch movies, lots of them. I read many blogs and I came to the conclusion that many of you will blog about TV shows that air on the regular channels and yet I see no posts at all on show that air on cable.

In this "mi chica" and I are soooooo divided. She watches nothing but regular TV, and I always ask "What do you want cable for if you are not going to watch it?" In her van she has a CD player, which until very recently my car didn't have one, well again all she listens to is the radio. Me on the other hand listen to nothing but CDs.

Because I'm a biker of sorts I watch every motorcycle show that the "Discovery Channel" airs. "Motorcycle Mania" with Jesse James, "American Choppers", or the "Biker Build Off" series. It's like I just can't get enough of these shows. There's more drama in these shows than in many of the network shows and these fools don't even get paid for their acting except maybe a tool set or welding kit. How can the producers go wrong?

Another favorite of mine is "Miami Ink"; I get a kick of how many people get tattooed just to see if they make the show. Tattoos are like Low Riders; once they hit the mainstream everyone is doing it. I remember growing up, if you rode a Harley and had tattoos you were a bad ass, and if you drove a Low Rider then you must have been a cholo, gangbanger, or troublemaker. Now we have a show that glorifies tattoos and everyone wants them. Where I work almost every woman has a tattoo, while none of the men do, talk about role reversal. Anyway, when it comes to entertainment this show rocks, but it still has not talked me into tattooing my body. My daughter tells me I will not be "real" biker until I get a tattoo. Well I settle for being a biker period.

And for my car show fix, there's "American Hot Rodder" and "Overhaulin'". Boyd Coddington has been around for a long time and is pretty much well known in the Hot Rod customizing world. Chip Foose has not been around as long as Boyd, but hell, homey really knows how to customize a car. And to humor my daughters idea of a car customizing show I also watch MTV's "Pimp My Ride".

Well as you can see, I do watch TV but if I'm paying for cable I'm watching cable, now if "The Discovery Channel" and "TLC" were regular network channels, maybe I wouldn't need cable.

Monday, September 11, 2006

We Will Never Forget

Where were you? (When the world stopped turning)
Allan Jackson
Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

Where Were You?

Where were you when you first heard? I was driving to work, it was early as I had plan to come in an hour before so I could catch up on work and as I exited the freeway on 40th St. I heard our local DJs talk about some sort of terrorist attack on one of the twin towers, their comments were somber and I knew that something very awful had just happened, they were taking calls from the listeners mostly teenagers and many of them were crying. It took me another 5 minutes from the freeway exit to my work, I remember there were only four or five cars already parked.

As soon as I came in I asked our technician to turn on the TV, as something awful had just happened in New York, "I think one of the twin towers was hit with a plane" is all I could mumble. The TV was on and as more employees started coming in to work, we all just stood in front of the TV as we watched the events unfold. I called my wife at home, I knew she would still be asleep but I felt she had to know.

We all know what happened next will be stamped in our minds forever, to this day I don't think I have shed enough tears, as every time we commemorate the events they come out without asking for my permission. I placed a flag outside my office door the next day to honor and remember those that lost their lives on that day and to this day it's still there, a constant reminder of how fragile and easy to shatter our lives are, but also a strong reminder of how powerful we can be when we all come together as a nation.

Take a moment during your busy day just to remember and in your own way to let those that left us that they are not forgotten.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Pick Me I'm an Easy Target!

Due to technical difficulties our computer at home does not have access to the internet, which means I will be very quiet until Monday so no posts, no BOTBs, no pictures... No fun! But oh well such is life.

I hardly ever get sick but today I'm fighting the flue, I hope to beat it but if my record in the BOTBs matches is any indication I just may have to stay in bed all weekend. I just cannot figure out how to improve my record, as a matter of fact I continue to slide further and further back. I believe my record right now is 35 wins and 61 losses on my Joe Cool's Blog and 27 wins and 40 losses on my Arizona... But it's a dry heat! blog. See the thing is than other than saying "shit" once in a while I refuse to cuss, after all my whole family reads my blog. I have noticed that profanity and nudity gather points like there's no tomorrow but those are two things that I'm not good at.

If anyone out there is willing to share the secret as to how to compete for 200 points each time, I'm all ears, all I know is that it takes me a long time to accrue 25 points much less 200. At least I'm getting some good comments from new people that never gave me the time of day before and my Joe Cool's Blog is getting over 100 hits per day, so it's getting better and better. However don't forget to visit my photo blog, that one is pretty fun too.

Well, hopefuly I will be back on line Monday morning, so until then have a very nice weekend.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Just sitting here eating my chicharron and bean burrito and thinking that in just 15 more days we will be going on our vacation. We have been waiting for it all year long as it will be our way to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary and we chose to take a five-day Mexican Riviera Cruise with our family. We invited and many took the invite seriously because 15 relatives are coming with us. This should be a blast.

I hear that part of the entertainment will be a sexy man's legs contest and they want to enter me, maybe not so much because I have great looking hairy legs, which I do he, he, he, but because 27 or so years ago I saw "mi chica" for the very first time as she was participating in a sexy legs contest. She took second then so the preasure is on me, will I even qualify? Nawwww!

Last cruise we took they also had karaoke, my younger sister is a seasoned karaokerer (yeap I thnk I made that word) and she loves to karaoke, my other sister and I like to karaoke, so... chances are at some point we will make fools of ourselves and pretend we can sing. It's all in good fun. Also on our last trip they had a latin band that played Salsa and Merengue and cumbias too, I'm really hoping for an encore on that, we'll be dancing all night for sure.

I have a favor to ask of you my fellow bloggers, remind me to take a tube of sun screen, last time we forgot it and "mi chica" bought one on the ship for a woping $35.00, I told her I could have done without it just fine, shit for that price I not only expected the sun screened but eclipsed all together, $35.00 buckaroos for sun screen, high seas robbery I say... those modern day pirates.

I have never been to Catalina Island, definitely that will be a highlight of the trip, San Diego should be fun and Ensenada exciting, not to mention cheap, I love haggling for good prices while shopping in Mexico. I'll be looking for my Ensenada HD shirt, can't have too many of those.

So... the countdown begins, just 15 more days.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Just a Thought

What happens when the cookie crumbles? It can never get back together, all that will be left to do is to dust the crumbs and throw them away. I would really hate to be a cookie so every day I thank God for making me what I am which by the way is far from cookie. I refuse to crumble, I am a simple man and live a simple life and I make do with what I have, yes I do strive for better things but all within the realm of my possibilities. Family to me comes first starting with my wife and my mom and every single family member after that, but sometimes family comes with a jagged edge, and if wounds are caused they may take a long time to heal. Word of advise don't cause them, you may regret it, and if you can prevent it never be a cookie.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Labor Day Vacation

Resting in my own backyard.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

The three day weekend is finally upon us, just a few more hours and we'll be going home to rest and celebrate, even though I don't drink my refrigerator is laoded with beer so I'll probably drink one or two here and there. The temperature is still over 100 degrees so I know they will taste pretty good.

My little sister and her daughters will be visiting from California so that should be a treat. We will probably be karaokeing as that is one of her favorite passtimes. Again I don't drink but when we karaoke we make this drinks we call "afinadores" (tuners), they consist of tequila and honey with lemon, mmmm mmmmm goood. This drinks are supposed to tune our vocal cords so that we can howl herrr I mean sing better, but truth be told is that the more "afinadores" we drink our perspective of how we sing is such that we start believing that we are seasoned professional singers. ha, ha, ha.

Disclaimer - I do drink but it's only on social occasions and I'm a very light drinker. The beer in my refrigerator is left over beer from our Father's Day Luau. And I do enjoy mixed drinks once in a while.

My brother and his "chica" are having a baby and the girls in the family are throwing a "Baby Shower" on Sunday. This is my brother's first baby and since he's already a 30 something guy we are all excited. This should be a big fun event that will probably bring the whole family together, and trust me there is a bunch of us. They'll probably play the usual baby shower games but me, I'm just looking forward to the food, I've seen the menu and it's gonna be good.

While on the subject of food, we will probably have a "carne asada" get together on Monday. This I also look forward to, "carne asada" parties are usually the best, with all the rice and salsas to complement the "carne" we can't go wrong.

So I just hope that you all have something planned for the long weekend as well, have a nice and safe Labor Day weekend.
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