Tuesday, 30 November 2010



November 30th: My final Picture of the Day for this 365 project! Now, just try to tell me that the guy above doesn't look like the guy below:

Haha! Good times... Thanks again to everyone for checking out these Pictures of the Day this last year. I'm fully planning on beginning a whole new 365 project starting... right now. However, these last 10 days I've been really diligent about getting the pictures uploaded, but with the new project I'll probably go back to my old, lazy ways and upload 7 or 10 days at a time. In any case, I sure hope you keep following the project-- feel free to comment, too!

Thanks again for reading, and have a great day!

More Nellie Photos

Soundbounder: Nellie (original post)

SY Nellie: Website

Monday, 29 November 2010

Picture of the Day Countup: 364!


November 29th: This is a picture of a tree in the office. Our students attached leaves with notes saying the things they were thankful for. It's a few days after Thanksgiving, but we still celebrated today. Nobody really noticed that the day was off since Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in Costa Rica anyhow (well, it was celebrated by us, but you get the point...).

So! Only one more Picture of the Day left in this 365 project! What will it be? Who knows! Even I don't know! So tune in tomorrow and find out!

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Picture of the Day Countup: 363!


November 28th: Today we went to Zarcero with Lucy and Wilson's family. I took this picture to actually get the hills that were beyond these bushes, but I liked the look of this couple more, so I cropped the picture and made it Picture of the Day. Still, if you click on the picture you can scroll through other nice pictures I took today.

Thanks again to Lucy and Wilson for a lovely day, and thanks to you for reading. Have a great day!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Picture of the Day Countup: 361 and 362!

Last night I was busy baking lemon bars (really), so I didn't have a chance to post the Picture of the Day:

November 26th: Although some people around here don't know what butter is, some do. I've been baking a lot these days. Tonight it was lemon bars.

November 27th: A student was wearing this Lenin shirt today. Coincidentally, it looks like a pretty close approximation of me now that I'm nearing the end of Novembeard!

Anyhow, that's it for today! Only three more Pictures of the Day to go! Be sure to tune in, and thanks for reading!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Countup Continues Unabated! 359 and 360!

Sorry about that technical problem last night. In any case, here we go with two more pictures of the day... and after these, only 5 more to go!


November 24: The towel at the hotel for my Wednesday evening class. It was almost so nice that I didn't want to wash my face.


November 25: Since it was Thanksgiving, I made a pumpkin pie and ate some turkey deli meat for dinner. It was the least --and almost the most-- I could do. :(
Notice the semi-dirty plate. No, we don't live in squalor. Instead, this was my second piece, because besides being thankful, Thanksgiving's also about eating heroic amounts of pie.

Thanks for checking in! See you tomorrow!

Does Not Compute

When I try to log on to my computer, it informs me:

"The User Profile Service failed the login. User profile cannot be loaded."

What an asshole!

To be continued...

Lesley's Nature Watch - They Flew in from the Cold!

These hardy Lapwings have come here for the winter to escape far worse weather in the North, so a 'Wintery Shower' of hail & sleet has little effect on them. Here, they can still find food in the fields & this is why you will see many huge flocks of Lapwings, or Peewits as they are affectionately named because of their call, feeding on farmland or reeling in flocks in the sky above. Already this winter, I've enjoyed the sight & sounds of many such flocks, one of my many favorite winter spectacles. Imagine my shock therefore, when last night on television, many eminent british bird experts lamented the loss of such flocks, over recent years, from the British countryside.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Monetize your Blog with Ebuzzing

Our blogs allow us to stay in touch not only with friends and other bloggers but with other organisations and brands we like in real and virtual life, too. For example, we like National Geographic Wild, visit their site often, write about it, watch their documentaries and embed them in our posts. All our friends like them too, and we discus the themes they publish with pleasure.
However, this passion can gratify us with money, too. It's enough to join the always growing community of bloggers on Ebuzzing that, working with the grand brands like Lloyds TSB, PayPal, Levis, FHM? etc from 2007, connects bloggers with their favourite brands, and earn money for our articles.
The registration is very easy, and just in some minutes? you can start earning. Ebuzzing? does not obstruct your creativity with complicated rules and conditions. You can express your feelings free and explain them in your own words. Ebuzzing? gives you only a few bullet points, links and images? -all the rest is the flight of your fantasy. 
N?ot only articles, your blog can be enriched with videos of brands you like. Is it not fantastic: meet your favourite brand or video every time you open you blog?? And earn at the same time?
There were many discussions if bloggers may write sponsored posts in their blogs or not. Someone said, it is not correct towards the readers. They, readers, have to know you are paid for this or that post. Don't worry. It's not about Ebuzzing. The strict code of ethics? of the company ensures that the readers are informed ?and the articles are clearly marked as sponsored so as you can see here, in the bottom?.
J?oin us! Some doubts? Visit the site and remove them. Find out more on ebuzzing.co.uk

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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Picture of the Day Countup: 358!

November 23rd: Some little dolphin figurines that Angela put in a plant in our kitchen. The plant happened to look like seaweed, and the whole effect is pretty funny. Although it makes me wonder where Angela had little dolphin figurines hidden away this whole time. What other secrets does this woman have?

Thanks for reading! Have a good night, and be sure to keep tuning in for the countup!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Picture of the Day Countup: 357!


November 22, 2010: A frog that I found on the side of the wall in the garage this evening. I had to get a few pictures before I took it outside.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to tune in the for the rest of the 365 Countup!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Picture of the Day and Final 10 Countup!

First of all, thanks to everyone who's followed this 365 day, Picture of the Day project since I started December 1st of last year. It's been a lot of fun for me, and it's been rewarding to hear that some of you liked the pictures. Hopefully they've given you a window into this sometimes strange country. At the very least, I hope it was a nice way of killing a minute or so every day. Although if you actually did look at each picture for a minute, you'd have already invested 6 hours of your time since day 1. Think of all the better ways you could have spent that time!

I've only got 10 pictures left to go for this project, but I'm planning on continuing to take a picture a day for as long as I can. I thought it'd be more monumental to have a countdown for the last 10 pictures, but if I had a countdown, it'd seem like each picture was less and less significant. So, I decided to have a "Countup" instead! So, without further ado, I present you with...

Number 356!
November 21st: A few friends from work (Lidio, Kenia, and Adriana) stopped by this afternoon, and Berlin put on a beautiful sunset show for them. This is from our porch, looking at the Gulf of Nicoya. Pretty beautiful, I must admit.

Be sure to check in daily between tomorrow and November 30th to see the countup for numbers 357 through 365! Thanks again for reading and for your interest, and have a great day!

Pictures of the Day, November 19 and 20, 2010

So, I've got Pictures of the Day from the last two days ready, and I'll post today's Picture of the Day in a few minutes, hopefully. Thanks for reading!

November 19th: A caf� in Palmares. Angela and I actually went out and did mildly social things this day, like drinking coffee in a caf�, purchasing things from a store, and eating a pizza!

November 20th: A Christmas tree at a gas station in Palmares. Here, they don't have Thanksgiving as a buffer (nor do they celebrate Halloween, for that matter), so people tend to get into the "spirit of the season" pretty early. It'd be fine for that if it weren't for the Christmas music, which is like my kryptonite. A month ago when I was in a department store in San Jose, they were already playing Christmas music over the loudspeakers.

So, that's it for the moment, but stay tuned for a countdown of the final 10 pictures in my first 365 project!


Last Christmas Eve we tried to come here for a walk with the children. Eleven months later I finally made it. I parked in Abbotsham as before, and the dog and I set off down the same path as before. This time, not being in a rush or having children to worry about, we just kept walking. There are sign posts all along the route to Greencliff, so it is pretty much impossible to miss.

Once you get off the road and onto public footpaths through the countryside it's lovely. There are boardwalks to start with, but after that it got VERY muddy. I was glad I had my new pinky spotty wellies on. But the views, once you get to the coast, are stunning and well worth the walk. The only slightly negative thing I have to report is that the signpost back to Abbotsham village is missing. I had to guess based on the map I'd printed from the internet before I left home. If I'd got it wrong I would have ended up in Westward Ho!

The whole circular route took me 1hour and 10minutes. The dog would have gone round again, but I was knackered by then, and if she'd have walked through all that mud again she'd have been completely brown instead of only partially brown.

Friday, 19 November 2010


Nellie is a powerful reminder of the age-old relationship between yachts and wealth. A century ago, this gaff-rigged cutter graced the western waters of Long Island Sound, flying the burgees of such exclusive yacht clubs as Larchmont, American, and Seawanka. She is the product of an era when sailing was a pastime reserved for men with pedigrees and summers off. An era when the western Sound served as the epicenter and playground for that crest of idle wealth.

Designed and constructed by the legendary Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Rhode Island, she was launched in 1903 for Morton Plant of New Haven, an heir to Reconstruction era railroad lines in the southern U.S.. With a 35' LWL and a deck that extends 46', she was one of three boats built to this design (Harold S. "Mike" Vanderbilt and J. Malcom Forbes owned the other two).

Surviving numerous owners and several different names (Butterfly), Nellie spent nearly 8 decades of the 20th century in western Long Island Sound. She had an auxiliary engine added in 1935; a new deckhouse in 1941; and suffered severe damage from a boatyard fire in 1959. Succumbing to the ravages of time, she

began her second century undergoing a 7 year restoration project which was just recently completed.

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to get a first hand view of Nellie and meet her crew. What an enthusiastic, accommodating, and fun group they are! I was invited aboard and given a tour which included a wealth of information about her history. She is a special boat and their pride in her was evident.

She is scheduled this winter to undergo work on some punchlist items from her recent restoration. Come spring, she will be back in the western Sound, ready to grace the waters for the next hundred years.

SY NELLIE: website (this is one of the best websites for a boat I have come across. Take some time and enjoy the photos and videos of her history and restoration. I highly recommend a visit; a long visit. You won't be disappointed)

Wooden Boat Magazine: Nellie (some beautiful photos of her undersail)

Herreshoff Marine Museum: website

YouTube: Interior Tour

Picasa: Nellie: Oyster Bay Spring Classic photo credits: Karen Martin

Big Picture of the Day Catch-Up

We've got lots of pictures to look at, so let's get to it!

October 29th: A new lamp that Angela and I got on our trip to the embassy (not that the embassy sells lamps, but I suppose that if they did it WOULD have made our trip to San Jose less complicated).

October 30th: A picture of Angela as a little girl. The picture is at her parents' house.

October 31st: Ramon's niece Evelyn. I actually don't know her too well at all, but Ramon asked me to take a picture of her. I had thought of taking a picture of my own niece Yoselin or nephew Maikol for the picture of the day, but I never got a chance to get a picture of them together (Angela took one or two, but I didn't), and I didn't want to play favorites!

The picture is from First Communion celebrations in Berlin.

November 1st: It's been pretty boring here in Berlin of late. Lots of rain, not much to do.

Also, Chubby's a bit psycho. He used to knock over the clothes basket in the garage and sleep on our clothes, so we put a lid on it. So he started sleeping on the lid.

November 2nd: The headboard at the hotel where I teach my Wednesday class (this week I also went Tuesday).

November 3rd: Some (hopefully delicous!) sauerkraut I bought at a supermarket called Automercado in Tamarindo. It's a nice place to go to buy weird food staples like dark bread, sauerkraut, rotisserie chickens, bagels, and strange sauces. Basically, it's good when rice and beans just won't cut it anymore.

November 4th: Ironically (but luckily), just a few hours after our car passed its annual inspection, a taxi backed into it, breaking the mirror and denting the door. We were parked outside a liquor store where I had gone in to buy ice cream (really!) which, of course, melted (it takes a LONG time to fill out crash paperwork for the National Insurance Company).

November 5th: Word to the wise: don't buy a Microsoft wireless keyboard. This one was nice for a bit, but after less than a year the "E" and "L" stopped working (and after watching "Wheel of Fortune" at my grandparents' house, I know that those are two of the most vital letters to the English language!). Plus, after a month or two of not being used, it's starting to get a touch of mold. But that's Costa Rica's fault, not Microsoft's.

November 6th: I took about 30 of these pictures in Angela's parents' kitchen last night, but someone kept moving (until the last picture, when I gave up and told them to look at the camera and not move). So, candid shots are nice, but in this case, the posed one was the nicest one. From left, Cecila, Honorio, and Angela.

November 7th: We finally got a clock for our living room! And it's red.

November 8th: Lots and lots of little bottles on the bathtub ledge, and it's making me uneasy.

November 9th: Some shoes that I got the last time I went to Colorado. They reflect my deep and abiding love for Samba dancing and my commitment to indoor soccer. And they keep my feet from getting wet when I'm walking outside and it's raining, so they're ideal shoes in that sense.

November 10th: Honestly, I'm not a big fan of this picture but it's about the only one I have from this day. So I sepia-ed the hell out of it. It's just a field next to the "Costa Rica-Taiwan Friendship Bridge," where I usually stop to have a leak and stretch during my drive to my Wednesday class in Guanacaste.

November 11th: This is actually a lingiustic commentary. In Costa Rican Spanish, "night club" means "strip club" (as does "nigth club," as it's often misspelled). That's the type of information that can come in handy when you least expect it.

Anyhow, these are two signs from a strip club somewhere on the road between my house and my Wednesday evening class. It seems like a pretty classy place ("Ricuras" means "tasties," sort of).

November 12th: A raspberry from Chubby. Angela got a bit nuts and decided to dress up Boner with a necklace and even a bit of lipstick.

November 13th: A fiber-optic decoration that my in-laws have on their table. I think it's pretty cool, and in a picture it sort of looks like a firework seen from a distance.

November 14th: Arenal Volcano, on a rare clear day. We took a trip to Arenal Paraiso Hotel to celebrate Angela's birthday.

November 15th: Angela. Happy Birthday!

November 16th: Some Garfield slippers that Angela got for her birthday from Adriana.

November 17th: A cooler that my grandma gave me. A classic.

November 18th: From the beach at Pinilla.

So, that's it for now! There are only a few days left in this 365 project, so I'll have to start an official countdown in a day or two.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

November....and beyond

We only have one walk a month from November to March, partly because weather conditions tend to deteriorate (although December has been better for walking than August in recent years) and hence places with reliable paths are harder to find. It's a good idea to make use of the Green Ways (old railway tracks and canal towpaths) in winter, as well as the coastal path, where rocky terrain is often preferable to trawling through the deep mud of rural lanes. There's an article on Winter Walking on the Brittany Walks website (http://www.brittanywalks.com/) if you are looking for a bit of exercise, or buy the new Red Dog guide to the Green Ways for some inspiration.
Join us for a walk on December 7 at St Rivoal, or for a day in Rennes on December 14th.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Clearwater Hauled In Norwalk

While the sloop Clearwater spends most of her time on the Hudson River, she occasionally ventures east of Hell Gate into the waters of Long Island Sound. Making an appearance at random waterfront festivals, this vanguard of waterway restoration has from time to time, brought her message to the shores of Connecticut and Long Island.
With an overall length of 106' and a mast height of 108', she is modeled after the 18th and 19th century Dutch ships that worked the waters of New York Harbor and the Hudson River. The brainchild of Pete and Toshi Seeger, the Clearwater was launched in 1969 with the intent to bring awareness and appreciation to the Hudson's beauty, heritage, and frailty. According to their website, the message was always simple yet powerful:
"To the people who see her broad sails from the shore, the message is a poignant reminder of the potential beauty and wealth of our region�s much-abused and neglected waterways."

Clearwater's primary focus has always been the Hudson, but her influence has been far reaching. The Quinnipiac, Save The Sound, Oyster Bay Waterfront Center, and numerous other organizations along the Sound are following in the wake of The Great Hudson River Revival.
When I read Monday that she was hauled for some short-term hull maintenance, I made a quick visit to Norwalk Cove Marina to get a closer view.  Under threatening skies, it appeared the work was nearly finished and she was awaiting to be splashed once again. Never one to sit idle for too long, she was berthed at the 79th Street Boat Basin by Tuesday evening.

New York Times: A Sloop Named Clearwater
Maritime Systems: Clearwater Location