16 November 2019

¡Soy Tica! ... I'm Costa Rican!

I fell in love with Costa Rica more than 50 years ago. The romance began when I first arrived at the Peñas Blancas border crossing between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, thus ending what had been 10 day overland journey in a pickup truck, with a camper shell.

After living in Costa Rica for several years, circumstances required me to return to my homeland. When I left Costa Rica I left a big piece of my heart behind with the Ticos. For 35 years I dreamt of returning to Costa Rica permanently. During these years I traveled back to Costa Rica on as many of my vacations as I could. Then in 2006, John and I bought a piece of property in the mountain town of Atenas. We built a small casita to use as our vacation home for a few years, and finally, in 2011, my dream came true! We were able to quit our jobs, retire, and move to Costa Rica to live amongst the Ticos.
I am very proud to announce that Costa Rica has granted my request to become a Naturalized Citizen this week. ¡Pura Vida Costa Rica!

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01 August 2019

Corporatists strike again

That makes 5.
When I retired, I thought that my victimhood at the hands of corporatism was finally over. Four times, I was a prime mover behind the creation of great little corporations with great people. Four times, corporatists bought out those little companies, one after another, and promptly, each time, over 40 years, they ran "our" little company into the ground or screwed it up so much that it was no longer great.
Screw 'em. I got outa there. "They'll never touch me again."
Famous last words.
In retirement, I discovered a fun crowdsourcing activity known as Tomnod. Tomnod was a place where NGO's and governments could come for help after disasters or accidents or social upheavals to get thousands of sets of volunteer's eyes to pore over highly detailed satellite images, looking for something. Downed airliners**; slave quarters; illegal forest burning; housing and infrastructure destruction; or even tagging herds or flocks of wild animals. Fun combined with doing some good.
But it's the old story: A handful of people at UC San Diego have this cool idea for sat-images combined with crowdsourcing; they form Tomnod ("Big Eye" in Mongolian) and it's a pretty impressive success; the biggest supplier of sat images, Digital Globe, acquires Tomnod and it seems like a marriage made in heaven, for years.
Then it happened. A big corporate shark, Maxar Technologies, buys Digital Globe and Tomnod starts receiving the signals of "you don't fit our profit profile."
Today, the formal news hit the streets ... Tomnod is officially "retired." (So ... that's what you call murder today, assholes?)
So there's the story. Corporatists can get you, even retired, while hiding in Costa Rica. Comes the Revolution ...
** During the MH370 search, an estimated 100,000 volunteer searchers were looking at images, EVERY hour.C

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