Random musings, observations, squeaks, whimpers and perhaps the ocassional rant. About what, I'm not sure.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sweet Dreams...

SuenoslogoLos Suenos (translation: "The Dreams") is a seaside resort community on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. The community consists of homes, condos, marina and the Los Suenos Marriott, which I have to say is one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed. We’re staying in double rooms at the Marriott for a few days while we provision the boat and get all the Costa Rican paperwork for it done (fishing permit, permit to move the boat to Flamingo, etc.)

IMG_1140Los Suenos is about 5 km from the town of Jaco (pronounced “ha-co”). If you’re bored at the resort, Jaco has the local bar/club scene, plus stores, shops, etc. The cab ride from Los Suenos should be about $4 US with tip, although I heard of a cabbie charging as much as $20 US (can you say “ripoff”). If you don’t know what a cab ride should cost, ask the bellman at any decent hotel; I’ll bet if its a well-known destination they’ll know within a couple of bucks.

On the main floor of the hotel there’s a huge lobby area, awesome veranda and bar that each have amazing views of the huge pool, golf course, marina and the bay. Spectacular at dusk… The Marriott has a couple of restaurants, including one that has a breakfast buffet every morning and a different buffet offering every evening. We liked the breakfast offerings but hit the menu for dinner for a couple of nights - better value. The marina also has a bar/restaurant called “The Hookup” where we had a couple of good breakfasts and lunches.


All in all, Los Suenos is a pretty amazing place. If you go for the pampering, the fishing or the golf I’m sure you’ll have a great time. For us, its a convenient stopover, a place to meet the boat, and a place to keep it when no one’s in-country. If you’re headed to Costa Rica its well worth the stretch from San Jose (a beautiful hour and a half drive over good roads) just to see it. Call Chilli - he'll take you there.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Costa Rica, Here I Come!


Its really happening – I’m on a plane headed to San Jose, Costa Rica. Got, it feels good. July has been a month of Mondays – something like 27 days of the month, regardless of their Calendar days, either started out as Mondays, were Mondays all day, or ended up as Mondays. You know the feeling… maybe I’ll post another time about that.


Two and a half hour flight on American from MIA to Juan Santamaria airport in San Jose. Keith’s already there, our driver, Chilli Willy (yes, that’s what everyone calls him) should have picked him up a couple of hours ago and they’re killing time until I get in. Then we drive from San Jose to Los Suenos (not sure how long that is) where we should meet up with the boat, assuming its trip up from Golfito has gone smoothly. Can’t wait to get there, and to see it. The “new” Jungle Rules is a 42 foot Gulfstream sportfisherman, originally built in Costa Rica but transported by specialized ship “back home” from Palm Beach, and we’re breaking it in.

Last time down, we had an awesome trip, with two chances for double grand slams (didn’t close the deal either time – short two blues the first day, and the second time around we couldn’t hook a sailfish to save our sorry ass). Making a single slam on the boat would be great, a double is almost unheard of so just having the chance is amazing! But then again, that’s why you fish in Costa Rica.

Looking forward to the fishing, but I’m also looking forward to exercising the Rebel XT on and off the boat. Might sneak away for a day or so, maybe just a couple of evenings after we’re off the water. Got some great landscape and seascape shots last time with much less of a camera. The Rebel is so much more versatile, higher resolution, way better glass. Picked up a Hitachi 6GB microdrive so storage shouldn’t be an issue – haven’t really had time to exercise it but it seems like it works. Wish me luck.

More from Costa Rica… all for now.

Getting Hitch-ed...

Don’t usually watch the inflight movies, but the Will Smith movie Hitch was on. There’s nothing like watching an otherwise pretty-good movie on the crappy entertainment system on the average commercial airliner. Ours was a little worse than normal, but not unwatchable. The color only went out a couple of times every few minutes, minimal screen roll, average amount of ghosting.

OK, so really, it sucked. The movie was good, though. I’ll have to rent or on-demand it again…

Brrr... its Chilli...

Ahhh… one big travel leg down, one to go, but not as long as I thought… I’m in Costa Rica!

Got to Juan Santamaria airport after flying through a nasty little storm. I didn’t’ care – lots of folks on the plane didn’t like it, including the mother and daughter sitting next to me, who were petrified! Plane landed on time, breezed through Customs and Immigration and poof – there were Keith and.

Guillermo – “Chilli Willy” Arias

I’ll pause here for a moment to tell you… if you’re going to Costa Rica and need some local info, ground transportation, a box of Cubans (just to smoke there, of course, not to take home Terry), a canopy tour or trip up to Arenal, Chilli is your man. He’s honest, he’s smart, his english is better than mine and he is Hooked Up with a capital “H”. Can’t go wrong there… E-mail Chilli at chilliwillycr [at] racsa [dot] co [dot] cr, call him at 011-506-382-6816click here. Sorry for the crappy encoding but maybe it will save Chiii from the freaking spammers.

And, some great news… where the road trip to Guanacaste/Flamingo was 4.5 to 5 hours depending on the wind, number of road washouts, overturned trucks and wandering livestock, the drive to Los Suenos is only an hour and a half over good highway the whole way. Sweet! We’ll stop about half way for a cerveza and lunch and then finish off the trip, getting in around 4 local time, I’d guess. Just in time to meet up with the Captain and mate (more on them later), see the boat and plan the next steps, which for tonight I hope will involve some local rum, maybe a cigar for some and a few fish stories for all.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Its a Wrap-per...

Milkmaids Poster Small

Milkmaids DVD Cover
Left to Right – Aimee Keeble, Katharine Leis
Tonia Kerr and Jonathan Charles Doyle

Well, Pat Martin’s latest film, Milkmaids, has gone to production.  Lots of long nights over the past week getting final edits done, sweetening the sound, designing the packaging and then producing it all.  I don’t know how he does it – editing 10 hours of raw video into a 16 minute short film over the course of a year seems like an agonizing way to direct one’s creative efforts and make a (partial) living, but its what he loves… how can you argue with that?


Pat, Terry Cronin and their families are headed out to San Diego for Comicon – “The world’s biggest comic book convention(tm)”, where the movie will be offered for sale for the first time.  I think Pat’s bringing something like 100 copies, which isn’t many for such a big show, but I guess he’ll see how they sell and go from there.  Of course they’re bringing the Students of the Unusual comics as well – I think they’re up to 4 issues now.  Look for a Milkmaids plus Students of the Unusual promo if you’re out there… or ask for one if there isn’t one!

I like how the movie came out.  I was asked by a friend recently to describe the plot without spoiling it, which was tough, but I’ll try to do it here and sound like a movie critic:

Cover Car

Three college co-eds spending the summer at a remote country house.  The good looking boyfriend.  Things that go bump in the night.  The axe-wielding neighbor… the cat.  But its hard to describe the film without spoiling, so I’ll just say this.  Milkmaids is a taut psychological thriller, delivering a big bang for the buck in just 16 minutes.”

Cover 3

Besides the movie, the DVD includes a brief slideshow of stills showing both action and behind-the-scenes stuff.  If you can find a friend who has a copy, watch it.  Or buy one at Comicon.  Or go to the 3 Boys Productions website for details on ordering.  Either way, don’t miss it – its a labor of love with a nasty plot twist.  If we’re lucky, 3 Boys may post a snippet via streaming media on the web, or maybe eventually post the whole thing in a small window size.  After all, no one would want to screw up the movie’s long tail which you can read about here and here.