23 January 2014

Modern Technology

True story of Pura Vida in Costa Rica -- The other day we went to the Correos (Post Office) to pay the annual fee for our post office box.  The clerk listens to our request, reaches into a drawer at her waist level and pulls out a sheaf of stapled papers.  "What's the box number?" she asked.  We told her.  She flipped a couple of pages, read off our name, which was typed next to that box number and then made an "X" next to our name and number.  That meant "Paid" apparently.  Easy peasy.  Elapsed time ... 30 seconds.  I handed her the money and she walked across the room and sat down in front of a tower-model PC sitting up on top of a desk.  Typety, typety, typety, type.  {L-o-n-g pause for a new screen to pop up}  Typety, typety, click, click, typety, type.  {Another 1980's-era pause waiting for their system to update and flip up the next screen}  This was repeated through several screens and pauses.  She hits the Enter key and a dot matrix printer fires up (YES! Dot matrix.)  A little receipt spews slowly from its bowels.  She comes back to the window, stamps the receipt and makes change.  Elapsed time ... 5 minutes.  Couldn't they just junk the computer system and stick with the stapled papers?
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02 January 2014

Happy New Year! We wish you the very best of everything in 2014!

We just celebrated Christmas and New Year's for the 3rd time since our retirement here in Costa Rica. Life has been good to us, and we are very thankful for all the family and friends that are a part of our lives. Once again, we were invited to ring in the New Year at the home of good friends. They have one of the most spectacular views of Costa Rica's Central Valley. The Ticos love their fireworks, and as midnight approached, the whole valley came alive with a beautiful display of lights. Here is a little video clip of the stroke of midnight as seen from our perch, high in the hills above Atenas.

This is the time of year when everyone is making their list of resolutions for the New Year. I don't know what you have on your list, but I promise to post more blog entries than I did in 2013. Looking back, I see it's been more than a month since my last post. It's not that there isn't anything to say. It's just that I get too busy posting on Facebook and forget to blog. We have a number of family and friends that don't use Facebook. They depend on this blog to stay up to date with our adventures. Going forward, I think I'll do more blogging and just post links to the blog in Facebook.

Here is a recap of some of our adventures in 2013:

  • January - I started canning again and put up some Hot Pepper Jelly and Tomato Salsa with fresh ingredients from the local Farmers' Market.
  • February - We participated in the 6th Annual Atenas Chili Cook-Off. Watch out, we are back this year as team "Texas Chili Fuego."
  • March - John started building a set of bunk beds for the Casita (more on that later.)
  • April - We officially opened our Casita Limón as a vacation rental to the public. We made so many new friends since we started renting the Casita. 
  • May - The rainy season arrived and brought us lots of new flowers in the garden.
  • June - I won ¢75,000 at the Canada Day celebration and I'm not even Canadian ($150.)  Then we celebrated John's birthday with a great Texas Barbecued Brisket and designer ice cream.
  • August - I taught myself how to make Bagels.
  • September - We went whale watching in Uvita with friends.
  • November - John got a new laptop with Windows 8 and finally stopped threatening to send his KindleFire into the next galaxy.
  • December - I became eligible for Medicare and became a "Ciudadana de Oro" (senior citizen in Costa Rica.) I get to go to the front of the line in banks and government offices, clinics and hospitals. I can hop on the bus for a free ride if it's less that than 25 km (15.5 miles), or get a 50% discount on trips under 50 km, with a 25% discount if the ride is longer than 50 km. I can also park in the handicapped parking places, and get all sorts of discounts from merchants.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

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