Sunday, 31 January 2010

Watercolor Therapy

One of the nice things about this blog is the people I have "met" along the way. I am not sure how Joey (AKA Whitemist)  and I first learned of each other's blog, but I would guess it was through BlogStamford. A native of Texas, he has been working as a local health department chemist for over 30 years. Some of his posts bring a scientific angle to the world that I do not possess.

As I followed his blog more, I realized he wasn't just some guy in a lab coat writing about the chemical compounds of sewage. His blog became a way to share many of the thoughts he had about life. I also learned that he was a painter who had lost his ability to paint. A short time after starting his blogs, doctors found a large, operable tumor in the back of his head. He is still going through recovery a year and several months after an operation that left him with double vision. According to Joey, his blogs became an outlet for him to share his recovery and find, to great surprise, that he could paint again.

Some of you may recognize the top painting of the Schooner Harvey Gamage. This was inspired by a photo I posted last June of her entering the Mystic River. The bottom watercolor is not of Long Island Sound, but instead it is a scene from Chesapeake Bay. Nonetheless, I think it captures the same imagery that many of us here often think of.

Joey K's Place

Joey K On The Environment

JKP: Paintings

Friday, 29 January 2010

Study Days

The details of our Study Days are now up on the new Brittany Walks website ( The choice of topics is Megaliths, The Age of Saints and Medieval Brittany, three aspects of the region that often arouse the curiosity of residents and visitors alike. Find out about your surroundings! Give your brain a spring-clean! Each topic is being offered on two separate dates, and there's a reduction for booking more than one. Have a look!

The Showboat

Tucked behind a storage warehouse on the Byram River, separating New York and Connecticut, is a replica paddlewheeler known as the Showboat. It is a replica only in the loosest of terms since there is no engine aboard, and the boat is actually a barge with a riverboat style structure built atop it. Despite it's fictional purpose, the Showboat has a long history.

The Freedomland Amusement Park was built in the early 1960's where Co-op City and Bay Plaza in the Bronx now stand. In Disneyesque fashion, the history of America was cleaned up and presented  as entertainment with  attractions such as the Great Chicago Fire and the San Francisco Earthquake. The Showboat (then known as the Canadian) was one of two boats that carried passengers through the Great Lakes and Mississippi River region of the park. Visitors ( apparently with extremely short memories after arriving via the Cross Bronx Expressway) could also view a futuristic city  highlighting all the glory and wonder that modern highways promised.

Freedomland closed after the 1964 season and the fake paddlewheeler eventually ended up moored off the Showboat Hotel and Restaurant in Greenwich. In a very un-Greenwich-like atmosphere, complete with fake celebrity photos on the walls,  patrons enjoyed their cocktails and cigarettes while looking out at the make-believe riverboat from an ersatz Bourbon Street.

The Showboat Hotel closed in the 1980's, and is now the more blue-blood appropriate Delamar Hotel. The riverboat of the same name however, lives on as a dockside party barge on the Byram River. A half-century old, the Showboat has outlived many boats from her era which were built to perform real-life seaworthy tasks, but met their demise years ago. The Showboat is a reminder that fate is much more random than we want to believe.  Longevity and third acts do not always go to the worthy.

YouTube: Freedomland (boat is shown at 2:54)

FLICKR: 2002 photos

Showboat: Website

Bowery Boys: Freedomland USA


Thursday, 28 January 2010

Pictures of the Day, January 26, 27, and 28

Hi everyone! This week is the National Conference for Teachers of English in San Jose, so I've had to go there to help out and to present twice (my presentation title is "Sex, Politics, and Religion: Breaking Through Taboos," a good title if I do say so myself).

In any case, things have been busy. Here's a few pictures from the last couple of days:

January 26th: This is a trusty teddy bear that Angela gave me when we first met. I keep him on my desk to watch my shit when I'm gone. Plus, it seems to be the place in our house with the least mold.
She also gave me that little mug in the bear's hand, but it was separate at the time. I sewed it to his hand (yep, I can sew... it's genetic... thanks, Mom).
In any case, my bear was providing constant inspiration the other night while I was preparing my presentation for the conference, which started yesterday (Wednesday).

January 27th: This was in a session that I attended yesterday. I took a couple of pictures of the room (you can see more on the flickr page), but for some reason I liked this one, especially when I got it to my computer. I like how the light is shining on this girl's hand, but only there, really. It's like her pencil is holding the key to her enlightenment. Here's a bit of detail:

January 28th: I chose this as the picture of the day mainly because there were slim pickins. But the more I look at it, I like it. Mainly I like it because it's in a classroom, and I can't imagine that most classrooms could be host to a gas fire or one involving logs (which I think is what is on the "ground" in the "A" picture).
Plus, as I was analyzing the picture, I realized, "Oh! There's not even a fire extinguisher on the fire extinguisher hook!"
Oh, Costa Rica!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Great walk!

We had a most enjoyable afternoon yesterday - thanks to all the usual crowd who turned out for a forest walk in perfect walking conditions, followed by well-deserved hot chocolate. Thanks to Dave for one of these photos, and for his dog handling skills!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Two In One Travel

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This post is a suggestion how to invent your next travel.

Imagine that you desire to have this or that object. We take a binocular as examle. You find information about different types of binoculars and think, one of them has to be very best for your aims. So, you visit the site of the main producer to find resellers of your zone and... understand you've never been in this country and in this city.

1 -We can imagine, the prices in the shop of the manufacturer have to be not so high as those of the resellers.
2 -if you have a wish to look for a last minute ticket, you can find great deals in internet.
3 -a weekend trip with 1-2 nights in that place can be not very expensive because you can find right prices in internet

with the same money you have to pay for the object you desire not far from your home you can organize a trip in a place you did not see else and buy the object of your desires.

Two In One Travel, my friends. And I'm the rightful author of this invention. :0)))

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Empty Nests

Finding a bird's nest is always exciting for me. I love to see how they are constructed, what materials are used, explore the way a bird weaves it together. We've had the good fortune to find many nests around here, and also in faraway places. I recall one nest that Addie found on a vacation out west. It had horse hair woven into it. That made us hope that our local birds were making use of the donkey hairs that would fly free in the springtime.

Roughly a year ago, as I was walking to the mailbox, I looked down and found a nest literally at my feet. So I brought it home and photographed it. In some way, it felt like a little gift that day. Today, I think about it in a different way...that of empty nests.

Last week, we joined the ranks of the empty nest ourselves. Paul was scheduled to return to the U of MN--Morris, and this time, Addie went with him. She has started her college career by taking advantage of the post secondary education option available in Minnesota. This allows her to finish high school by taking college courses. It's a very exciting time, but definitely one of adjustments, too. In recent weeks, she was busy finishing up her work for her fall semester, while preparing and packing to move away from home. We were contemplating our future of hauling all of the firewood ourselves. Changes for everybody.

Someone else moved on in recent months as well. That would be Moses. After his buddy Jethro moved to Montana last year, Moses became amazingly lonely. We had always observed that Moses could live without Jethro, but Jethro hated to be too far away from Moses. So sending Jethro to live with other donkeys seemed like it might work. But it didn't. I guess they had bonded over the four years that they spent together, and after all, donkeys are herd animals. We were now Moses' whole herd, and none of us were able to spend a lot of time with him. In the end, Greg decided that it would be best for Moses to re-join his old buddy, but in a new place. I'll write the story of his departure and subsequent reunion on another day, but for now, suffice it to say that we really truly are empty-nesters.

The first thing that I always notice is the change in the conversation. When Robert left, when Paul left, each time, there was one less voice in the discussion. So too is it with Addie gone. Even Moses got a word in at least once a day, when he would sing for his supper. One might say that decision making is easier, as consensus for two is easier to reach than five. We were lucky to have many a dinner together, full of lively talk about work, ideas, studies, life. And I have been blessed to spend an incredible amount of time with my kids, given that they each homeschooled for so many years. So I can't complain. We're happy and content with the way things have turned out. But that doesn't mean that we don't miss 'em....and for way more reasons than just the help on the woodpile.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Picture of the Day, January 25, 2010

Angela was cleaning a lot today, and she even cleaned the oven thoroughly. These are the knobs from the front of our Atlas brand oven. Atlas is, if not the best, then certainly one of the top ten oven manufacturers in El Salvador.

Cooperation in the isthmus: �Si se puede? Sure, �why not?

A Little More Respectable

It's a bit embarrassing when guests from the Twin Cities arrive and say, "Hmmm, we actually have more snow than you do." For an area of Minnesota that usually has more snow than we know what to do with, it's hard to deal with a dry winter. Fortunately, that has changed now, thanks to the storm system that planted itself over the northeastern part of the state the past few days.

As usual, we started to hear about the possibilities of this storm several days in advance. The system was predicted to bring a mix of rain, slush, and eventually all snow. The numbers listed as possible depths were 6 to 11 inches. I've learned to be skeptical of these, because inevitably, I am disappointed. This is especially true in a year like this one, when El Nino patterns are influencing the winter weather.

This time around, I had a new plan. I told Kent at the Coop that I was planning not to read the weather reports, not to track the storm advisories, and not to look at the radar. In other words, I was going to see if reverse psychology works on the weather. He laughed and expressed his doubts.

Sure enough, it didn't start to snow when they said it was supposed to. Better than that, it didn't really rain either. That would have been worse. We had few brief spells of light mist on Saturday, but nothing to cause damage. Sunday morning it was still merely overcast, and Greg took off to go to town. He called me shortly before he arrived in Grand Marais to say that it was snowing heavily. Still nothing here, but at least I wasn't feeling sad about that. By eleven, it did finally start to snow.

It continued to snow all day, all evening, and through the night. We had gone to Shar's to see the football game. At the end, when the Saints were shooting cannons full of confetti into the air, I checked to see if our own "confetti" was still coming down. It was. Good sight.

Today, we measured eight inches by midday. Greg has been out plowing all day, with just a brief break for lunch. He said that underneath, it is a heavy wet snow, and that was slowing things down. Trees were bending over under the weight of it. I went out to shovel stairways, and released some of the cherry and birch trees from their burdens. We don't have many pin cherry trees left, and I really enjoy the short time in the spring when they cause the ground around them to turn white not from snowflakes, but fallen petals. It's satisfying to see them spring back up.
So we are once again in full winter mode. More shoveling to do tomorrow as I go around and bank the cabin foundations. Time to power up the ski groomer and give the trails a set of new tracks. Do you think the reverse psychology worked?

New BWs Website

Please have a look at the new Brittany Walks website, which is still a work in process, but already looking great. Many thanks to Harold, the Webmaster, for all his hard work in making this transformation happen!

Don't forget - Huelgoat walk tomorrow.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Picture of the Day, January 24, 2010

Here's today's Picture of the Day:

The ticket window at the sala comunal de Berlin. I'm not sure which events they hold here that require tickets, but today's Water Board meeting wasn't one of them.

We went to the Berlin Water Board meeting because water is occasionally a pain in the ass in Berlin (by occasionally, I mean "during the day"). We finally had to install an enormous tank and pump near the Formerly-Crappy Casita near the back of our property, but it's still good to know what's going on with the Water Board. New this year: rates will be raised to about 40 dollars a year for water, and they're still trying to figure out where the leaks are.

Thanks for reading, and have a good one!

Pictures of the Day, January 22 and 23, 2010

Here are my Pictures of the Day from yesterday and Friday, as well as an extra leftover. Hope there's something interesting:

January 22nd Picture of the Day: I'm not a huge fan of this as Picture of the Day, but I didn't have many other options. This is a bromeliad-type of flower in a tree in our back yard. I always think it's pretty impressive how these guys just grow all over the place, especially on branches of other trees. Plus, they're really light.
Buy or steal a bromeliad today.

January 23rd Leftover: This is technically a "January 23rd" picture, although I took it late the previous night before I went to bed, around 2 AM. I looked out our bathroom window and saw the fog and the streetlamp, and it was pretty nice. I'll have to try to re-create it some day, when I don't have to take it through a bathroom window, and when I don't have to wake up in 4 hours.

January 23rd Picture of the Day: While on my lunch break at work yesterday, I went to the Palmares Festival and bought some ice cream. They gave me an umbrella on the ice cream. I put it in our plant since I'm uncreative and wanted a Picture of the Day. Done and done.

So, that's it for those two days. We'll see what today brings!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Another Mangy Wolf Story

You may recall my post last year about a mangy wolf that was living on the south shore of Gunflint Lake. Many folks had opportunity to see her, and we discussed how she was doing, with as little fur as she had. We were impressed by her ability to find warm shelter and enough food to survive, even during the cold snaps. We knew that she had made it through the winter, because I last saw her in May, crossing the road by our sign, and running up into the hills. After that, I figured it was just too busy around here for her liking, and thought little about her whereabouts.

This winter, another mangy wolf had begun to show up. I hadn't seen this one, but several neighbors had spotted it. We wondered if it could possibly be the same one, but folks were saying that this one was darker. One recent day, I did see a lone dark wolf come out from the driveway of Birch cabin, look at me, and then continue on up the road. It turned and walked in to the pasture. It didn't seem to be in any hurry, even after it saw me, but it did seem to have fur on it. These moments pass by so quickly sometimes, it's hard to capture all of the details.

My neighbor Ev and I talked today about the wolf. She told me the story of her husband John, who went ice fishing with another neighbor recently. John didn't get any fish, but his neighbor got a nice 5# lake trout. They called it a day to head home, and the fellow left his fish, as well as his lunch, on the porch of the cabin while he went in to get something. When he came out, he just caught sight of the wolf, running off with both. The guy ran after him, and the wolf dropped the lunch, but kept the lake trout. As Evelyn said, at least the wolf had one good meal at that point.

Early this week, I got a call from someone at Gunflint Lodge, asking if we had seen the current mangy wolf. I said that I hadn't, but knew that others had. It turned out that the wolf had been hanging out near the lodge, and had actually come up behind an employee, and had snarled at him. I have to admit, that would certainly freak me out! He went to the lodge to report it, and the upshot was a call to the authorities.

A fellow from the Dept of the Interior was called in, and he came up to see if he could find the wolf and put it out of its misery. I guess that he had been receiving many calls on the wolf, and given the report of its condition, this seemed to be the best answer. Greg met the man on Wednesday, and was able to tell him that he had seen the wolf the afternoon before, about a mile in on our side road, just past the Pines.

Yesterday afternoon, I got the call that the wolf had been located and then shot. Some friends stopped by in the afternoon, and they had actually seen the dead wolf in the back of the truck. It was a sad and sorry sight---virtually free of hair, save for little tiny bits on its body, and a ruff around it's neck and head.

It turns out that this wolf was a female. Greg was fairly certain that last year's wolf was also a female. Could it have been the same one? We'll probably never know. While I hate to see the chapter end like this, it is best for the wolf to now be out of her misery. Mange is quite contagious, so I am hoping that no other wolves show up with it. It seems that the wolves will have a tough enough time this year, as the deer population appears to be in decline. I find it so interesting to have a front row seat in this show of nature and survival.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Walking with the Wolves

Gunflint Lake is ideal right now for walking. The ice is at least sixteen inches thick, and it only has a smattering of snow on it. Traction is excellent in most places, but in a few spots I need to watch more closely, as it is smooth as glass beneath the dusting. Walking on the lake in these conditions is a great opportunity.

Greg and I took advantage of that on a recent afternoon outing. The sun was out, but we did have a bit of a north wind. We bundled up and took off with binoculars and camera. The first wildlife we noticed was a deer, carefully making its way south from Canada. I imagine that walking with those sharp little hooves is a bit like being on the spikes of high heels. I'm glad that my mukluks have a solid rubber footprint with plenty of texture. Luckily for the deer, we didn't see her fall. But when we later studied her tracks, it did look as though some spots were a bit slippery. It is to her advantage at that point to have four legs.

We hiked on land some, and visited a beaver pond on the old East End trail. I hadn't been there since before the fire in '07. It was wonderful to be back. The lay of the land is so different, since the fire. But the pond itself still had a serene feeling about it. I recalled skiing by it one year, and seeing three otter slides--one nice and clean (the living room?), one strewn with food bits (the kitchen?) and one that was quite clearly the bathroom. There were no visible signs of otter this day, but I hope that they still frequent the area.

On the return trip, we had the good fortune to spot a couple of wolves on the ice. They were coming out from the shoreline just to the east of our place. Then we could see three more coming, and it got exciting. They seemed to be running in our direction, so we dropped down to our knees, in hopes of looking less intimidating. Shortly, a sixth one joined the others, and they began to frolic and tumble in the snow. Greg was watching through the binoculars, and at one point he laughed. "Dogpile!" he said quietly. Even though the wolves were still far off, we didn't want to chance losing the moment by making human noise.

Doesn't everyone have a photo or two like this? "See those two dots? Those are wolves!" or moose or deer....whatever the wildlife. I did my best to photograph and crop the photo, to try and make the wolves more clear. This is the best I can come up with. I was watching intensely, with camera ready, in hopes that they would come closer. No luck, as they eventually became a bit suspicious of us, and decided it was time to head to Canada. Off they ran, the pack of six. It was exciting just to see that part happen.

We got up, dusted off our cold knees, and headed for home. There's nothing like having winter back and being able to see and hear the wolves again.

Places Remembering Giordano Bruno

With this post I want to continue to follow the pathes of very important characters of the human history.

Here I begin with Giordano Bruno, a rebel monk. He teached different ideas that were against the doctrine of the church. First of all, he thought, the Earth turns around the Sun and not contrary. He thought, there are many planets similar to our Sun and the Universe is very big (Read this post too: What We Are In The Universe? )

The life of Bruno beginns not far from the place I live, near Nola, a not very big town behind Vesuv.

He studied at the monastery in Naples and 17 years old entered the Dominican Order. He did not want to follow the philosophy of the church and had his own point of view. For this heresy he had to run away from the church all his life. He changed many places but finished his life in Rome, where was burned at the stake by Roman Inquisition after 7 years of the prison.

Here you see the view on the zone where he was born with Vesuv in the background.


And this is the palace of the Inquisition in Rome, piazza dei Fiori, where Bruno was prosecuted. He was burned here too. The statue you see over here is situated in the same square too.

Rye Town Park Centennial

Whenever I hear the name Rye Town Park, I always have to think for a moment. It always takes me a few seconds to remember that Rye Town Park is the official name of Oakland Beach. I have always had difficulty with alternate or changed names:  I still refer to the Met Life Building as the Pan Am Building, and the Patriots play at Foxboro, not Gillette Stadium. Houses still carry the last name of  the owners who lived there 25 years ago, but have long sinced moved on.

Rye Town Park however, is a name that has been around a long time; certainly longer than I have. In 2009 the park celebrated it's 100th birthday, and continues to be one of the nicest town parks along this stretch of Long Island Sound. During our recent January thaw, I found her looking much like she did in an early 20th century postcard.

Rye Historical Society: Walking Tour Script

Rye Patch: New Dog Running Area At Oakland Beach

Painting Rye: Crescent Of Rocks


photo credit: Penny Postcards (top)

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Picture of the Day and Morbid Story of the Day, January 21, 2010

Here is today's Picture of the Day:
If you've not heard it already somehow, there was a guy murdered in front of our house early this morning. Evidently, one coffee picker stabbed another one around 5:30 AM. According to rumors --and rumors, plus a lot of gossip, is about the only type of information available in Berlin at any given moment anyhow-- the stabbing was a result of a conflict that was carried on from a few days ago.

This is part of the crowd that was hanging out and rubbernecking. We actually didn't hear a thing, since our room is on the opposite side of the house, but when Angela woke me up around 7:30, she said, "There's a shitload of people in our yard!" I was surprised, but mainly because I didn't know she knew the word "shitload." When we went out, sure enough, there were a ton of people hanging out in our yard and in the street.
A few of the people in the crowd were family members of the victim. Most of the people in the crowd weren't. I can't imagine how it must be to have a bunch of slack-jawed dipshits hanging around you and discussing you and your son's death while you're looking on at his dead body. Shame on the police, for not keeping all the "tourists" away, I guess, but as my friend Lucy pointed out, it's also a reflection of their cultural approach to death and dead bodies, and it's quite different from what one may be used to in other countries.

Finally the cops closed off the road so that the inspectors could do their work a bit better, but people were still hanging out in our yard. I guess the cops thought that it didn't make sense to have an orderly crime scene where people weren't (literally) stepping on your clues, if creating that scene meant foregoing some insightful comment from one of the yokels eating a bag of chips while standing in our bushes.
Since the victim and killer are both from Nicaragua, this led to much speculation and talk about the "Nicaraguan character." Most of this talk was bigoted bullshit, of course, and it's lamentable that when a Costa Rican kills someone, they don't talk about how Costa Ricans supposedly don't know how to solve their problems without killing one another, either.

This is the worst part: when the cops were about to lift and move the body away, the crowd grew even more animated, and people clamored in to get a good look. I know, Lucy, you're right that it's a different cultural approach to dead bodies. Still, it's my cultural approach to say it's fucked up to gather up the family and then go down the road to see the fresh corpse. Also, I guess the fact that I'm not posting any pictures of the dead body covered in a white sheet shows a different cultural approach. Food for thought, at least.

So, that's the interesting news for today, I suppose. Not the good kind of news you want to spread around, but still the kind you should probably mention.

Picture of the Day, January 20, 2010

I didn't have a chance to post this picture yesterday, but it's the Picture of the Day from yesterday. Angela's pretty.

Underneath The Charles W. Morgan

"There is but a plank between a sailor and eternity"

Thomas Gibbons: Boxing The Compass

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Picture of the Day, January 19, 2010

Here we have today's Picture of the Day, decided upon after much deliberation (and obviously much more photographing of this praying mantis-type creature):

I chose this one because it was the most "mantisy." You can see its colors, and you can also see its antennae, buggy eyes, and evil-doing hands. All in all, a nice picture. Thanks to Angela for pointing it out after she saw it on a plant on our front porch!

I also included this one just cause it's such a great picture of Cucho "roaring." We're training him to open his mouth enough so that we can put our heads inside and impress our houseguests (if we've not invited you over yet, it's because we want the routine to be perfect before we show it to visitors).

That's it for today. Thanks for reading!

Picture of the Day Catch-Up: January 11-18, 2010

With this set of 8 pictures, I think we'll be about up to speed with the Pictures of the Day. I may put up a few more pictures from our trip to the US sometime soon, but we'll see about that. For now, hopefully there's something you'll like in this set:

January 11th: For the first week or so after we got back to Costa Rica, it was windy as balls. It's hard to take a picture conveying how windy it is, especially when you don't want to go out into the wind, but I think this does at least a passable job.

January 12th: My classroom, after class. Although sparse by American standards (especially since school's not in session here until February), this classroom is still pretty nice. You should see some of the public schools.

January 13th: Someone spray-painted this message on the corner by where we live. I believe it was for a bike race or marathon --something like that-- but it's still good advice in general: "go up."

January 14th: The weather in Berlin is strange sometimes. Near sunset, especially, things get kinky. Angela and I went for a walk to her parents' house, and the sun was setting through a thick fog, which had suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

January 15th: This is what they call a "receiver of coffee" here, but I believe we'd call it a depository. It's where the farmers drop off and measure their coffee at the end of each work day, and then the trucks take it down the hill to the Co-op's processing facility. In any case, I passed this depository on the way back from work late one evening, and it was all lit up, but closed and lonely.

January 16th: Speaking of coffee, there's nothing like a cup of it after a "long" day at work.

January 17th: This was a pretty lazy day. I worked in the yard moving dirt for a few hours, but then I sat in the sun and read "The Left Hand of Darkness," which Lucy loaned me. I love the back patio on a sunny day!

January 18th: Ah, the joys of trying to teach English right next to Palmares' annual two-week Festival. There was an elaborate 10-minute fireworks session near the end of my class last night (there's a video on flickr, if you want to see one of the multiple "false grand finales"). It's certainly pretty, but not conducive to hearing if my students are pronouncing "ship" and "chip" correctly.

Well! I believe we're now officially caught up! Thanks for reading, and check out the following links if you're interested in more pictures:
My flickr Page
January Pictures of the Day
January Leftovers
SeeVida (with pictures from multiple countries and contributors, including me in Costa Rica)
December Pictures of the Day
December Leftovers

If you're not familiar with flickr, you may not know that with each of these photo sets, you can view all of the pictures in a slideshow. Just click on that icon, near the top right of the page.

Thanks again for reading, and have a good day!

Picture of the Day Catch-Up: January 6-10, 2010

Finally getting a chance to get caught up on some of the Pictures of the Day I've been behind on. Here we go with January 6-10:

January 6th: This is the big geodesic ball or whatnot that they have at EPCOT in Disney. I like this picture quite a bit.

January 7th: While in Florida, we stayed at the Port Orleans hotel. It was really nice, and set-up to look like the pre-Civil War American south. Disney's attention to detail is pretty incredible; the only drawback was that we had to keep hearing ragtime versions of Jingle Bells every time we went to the hotel's cafeteria. Oh well.

January 8th: Back in Costa Rica, at Juan Santamaria International Airport. This man was in the "Security Zone," whatever that means. (For me, it means that I get "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins in my head, only with different lyrics).

January 9th: Not that interesting of a day, not that interesting of a picture.

January 10th: We walked to Angela's sister's house for lunch, and we passed Lee's house on the way. His house is pretty impressive, but he's had major problems with it from the beginning, especially with contractors ripping him off. It's currently stalled in construction, as it has been for years now.

That's it for this set. I'm hoping to get caught up until yesterday sometime later today. Thanks for checking out the pictures, and remember that you can always see the pictures of the day, the leftovers, and the SeeVida set on my flickr page. I usually upload them there before I have a chance to get them on this blog, so those options are much more current and complete.

Thanks again!