Dust Control In Costa Rica – Postre para Las Vacas (dessert for the cows)

We sit high above the road

As a country boy, I can remember the good old days when a dusty road was controlled by spraying used motor oil on it.

In eco-friendly Costa Rica, they banned this practice because all the oil eventually ends up in the rivers which lead to the oceans.

Our house sits about fifty feet above the a dirt road. As you can imagine during the dry season the few cars and trucks that do pass by can raise a pretty good cloud of dust.

This year has been unusually windy – there are seasonal “Winds of Christmas” that normally start Mid-December and end Mid-January. This year they are still blowing.

In the past, we have gutted out the inconvenience of having dust blowing in and covering everything. But this year it’s different.

When we first moved here, the contractor that build our home-addition said that they former owners put “honey” on the road.

We asked the gringos around if they had heard such a thing, and most responded like we had two heads. (Of course they all live on paved roads/streets.) Our spanish was no where good enough to ask a Tico.

Honey. It just didn’t make sense… even though honey is sold everywhere so there must be a lot of hives, but how much honey would it take to fill a 55 gallon drum? Plus honey has some value so it just seemed silly to put it on the road.

But Molasses! Now there is the solution! Molasses made from sugar cane. Tons and tons of sugar cane is harvested this time of year.

Honey? Molasses? Sweet sticky stuff. Now we know what our contractor was talking about.

Our friend Pat found this great story about a Costa Rica town where the business pay to put honey on the streets.

One quick search on Facebook and I made contact with the woman in the story and she gave us the low-down.

And our lawn-care guy, Mario, knew just the place to find a good supply of molasses. He arrived this morning bright and early with his crew, two 55 gallon drums full of molasses and another empty drum for diluting the molasses 50/50. (In case you need a weekend DIY project.)

Local cow

Local cow

Mario said he brought the “postre para las vacas” (dessert for the cows.) We wondered if the cows that wander up and down our road from farm to pasture… maybe some “dulce leche” (sweet milk) will be in the offing?

They had a large bucket in which they had punched multiple holes in the bottom to make a giant sprinkling can.

In a matter of a few hours they had done the stretch of road in front of our house and the dust is gone.

We’re not sure how long it will last. Seems that in Playa Guiones the molasses is effective until the first rain. I’ll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, we already know the molasses on the road is working.

Now if we just can find a way to get rid of the dog hair!

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Deja Vu! Old Post Revisited!
Our New $160,000 House – How Cheating Pays Off

Whomever said “never trust a young chick showing lots of cleavage at a blackjack table” was wrong. Nancy showed her trust and even invited me to sit at the same blackjack table and enjoy the view game with this young chick dealer.

The Twits and Twats golf tournament opening event Friday night was a putting contest followed by a Casino Night. Nancy first invited the folks from NashVegas to come to Le Club Du Golf when she ran the Cocks and Knockers tournament last year. (The tournament is really called the Braves and Squaws, which I find more offensive than Chicks and Dicks or the other names mentioned.)

It was such a big hit, they were invited back.

These folks didn’t show up with plastic game tables and plastic chips. They were the real thang. The guy who runs the company makes the tables for real casinos and his side business is running casino nights for corporate events and such. Real tables, real roulette, real craps, real chips!

nashvillevegas

The people he hires to run the tables are NOT the real thang. They cheat.

Thus our ability to spend our $160,000 winnings on a couple of bird houses and some suet.

I like to play Hold’em online, but never played at a real table with a real dealer and real chips until last year. I had a ball, busted out and loved it.

I did the same thing this year.

Nancy likes to play Blackjack. She sent word that if I needed chips, to just let her know. I blew off the messenger, but two hands, later after a massive all-in bet holding a full house, lost everything. My eights in the hole got beat by Queens in the hole. I am such a gambler!

I moseyed over to her table to announce I was ready to go home, and ended up watching her table. I was still to prideful to accept her generous offer.

After ten minutes, I took a thousand from her stack and sat down and bet it on one hand.

I had 20, dealer had to stand on 17. Winnah.

Let it ride, I got 18 with three cards, dealer busted. Winnah.

Let it ride, I got 17, dealer showing 10. Dealer looks at me, I indicate I was good, (I didn’ t want another card) she looks at next card and gives it to me, making 20. She shows 20 and pays me.

Huh?

Let it ride. Next hand, it takes me four cards to make 16. Oh-uh, not looking good. Dealer busts. Winnah? Really? Again?

Let it ride.

BTW: everybody else is winning also. But sometimes the dealer would look at a “hit” card and put it back in the shoe. Sometimes she would do this twice before giving them their “hit” card to go with their hole cards.

We had a Cheating Dealer! It was wonderful!

Nancy once commented “that’s not the card I wanted,” and dealer replied, “that’s OK, you’re beat anyway.” Nancy wasn’t betting her entire stack on every hand like I was, so the dealer let her lose occasionally.

Near the end of the evening, it was getting harder and harder for the dealer to make us winners. She had returned so many cards to the shoe, and had not shuffled, so the cards were starting to repeat – either very low cards or very high cards.

So we playahs just began trading the cards we needed.

And when the dealer left to cash someone out? Nancy just helped herself to the dealer’s bank and gave us all a bunch of chips.

The items available for “auction” were quite nice. Titan’s tickets, liquor, wine, crystal decanter, luxury bath items, luxury food items, but we had our eyes on the bird houses, suet, and other assorted goodies from Bird, Bath, and Beyond.

We found out Saturday night our bid of $160,000 was the one and only bid for the birds.

Winnah!

I’ll post a picture later of the $160,000 bird house.

Winners never cheat, cheaters never win? One Blackjack table at Le Club Du Golf Casino Night didn’t quit live up to that bromide.

And we loved it!

However the golf gods were watching today, and punished us rather severely.

Know your rights in healthcare facilities

ManReadyforBed

In September 2013, the Daily Mirror published an article about 700 victims of bedsores.

One man died from a stage four bedsore. He was 70, had diabetes and had been left in a wheelchair for 10 hours. The diabetes put him at higher risk than most for bedsores, but it seems that didn’t matter much.

In the UK the NHS – National Health Service – provides healthcare for all of their citizens. It’s based on need, and not their income. So they took quite a hit from these lawsuits. Steven Brown, an attorney quoted in the article, said that the NHS could have saved a lot of money with simple preventative measures.

Unfortunately these things happen. We can be put into the best healthcare facilities money can buy, and we can still be neglected.

Bedsores are a sign of neglect, and a growing problem among treatment facilities – not just in the UK, but in America too.

In fact, the lack of adequate health care can make matters worse. But that’s not an excuse for something that can easily be prevented.

Know Your Rights

You have the right to preventative treatment – no matter what type of facility you are in. You could be in a non-profit nursing home funded by the government. You still have the right to preventative care. You need to be moved at least every two hours, whether it’s just switching positions or helping you to go for a walk. You have the right to have someone check on you at regular intervals, to make sure you’re clean and dry. Your clothes should also be clean and dry.

You have the right to inform more than one person of your aches and pains. If you think you’re getting a bedsore, or something hurts, tell someone. If they brush it off, tell someone else. Demand that a professional come see you. If you have loved ones who come to visit you, tell them what’s going on. They can speak up for you.

You have the right to seek bedsore treatment immediately. You can seek outside treatment. Treatment can vary slightly depending on the state and facility. Search for specialist who treat bedsores in your area.

In some states, these specialists may be hard to reach. For example, some of the best treatment facilities in Illinois are limited to an area consisting of Chicago and a few of its suburbs. However, you may be able to qualify for transport to these facilities and/or specialists under special circumstances.

You have the right to take pictures and document your own evidence. You can ignore anyone who says you can’t. If you don’t have access to a camera (or can’t work the one on your phone), you can have a loved one do it for you. Have them take pictures of your bedsores in all stages, even if they’re only at stage one.

You (or they, or both) should also make notes about the responses from the medical staff. Of special importance is whether anyone in the facility denies responsibility, and anyone who tries to make it seem like it’s not a big deal. It is a big deal. They can cause or contribute to a medically critical state. So document everything you can, while you can.

Medical Malpractice

Since bedsores are an obvious sign of neglect, and can easily be prevented with the proper care, your next step will probably be to consult with a lawyer. Make sure you present the evidence you’ve documented. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case.

Medical professionals recognize that bedsores are preventable. That is why they fall under medical malpractice. Find a lawyer who is not only an expert at medical malpractice suits, but also one that is familiar with the laws in your area. Experience speaks volumes, and you want someone who knows where you’re coming from and will treat you and your concerns with dignity and respect.

The most important right you have as a senior is to be cared for like an individual. If you are not, the facility you are in should accept responsibility for their action – or lack of.

I Found The Troll on The World Golf Tour

golffront

I’m kinda hooked on a computer game – that isn’t Angry Birds, or Candy Crush, or Words With Friends, etc. etc.

It’s a golf game.

It’s fun. There are world-famous golf courses that can be “played” as a single player, match play, stroke play, team play, and so forth.

As with real golf it has it’s down sides.  Mostly, you have to spend money to buy the best equipment or your game will be stuck in low gear. I don’t spend money to play a computer game.

AND… as I found today… there are TROLLS that play golf – on the computer as in real life.

A first… normally the game chat is sprinkled with chat comments like…

  • gl (good luck)
  • hf (have fun)
  • ns (nice shot)
  • vns (very nice shot)
  • nb (nice birdie) and so forth.

When I started a match with AlexPKeaton1, I commented in the chat that I remember Alex P. Keaton…

MichaelJFox_AlexKeaton

Michael J. Fox played Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties, and apparently before Parkinson’s Disease put him on the sidelines, he enjoyed a round of golf.

MichaelJFox_golf

Anyways…. after my comment about remembering Alex P. Keaton, the person behind the name responded.

I don’t talk to losers.

So I closed the chat box and went on with the game.  From time to time I would open the chat box to see what the Troll was regurgitating.

Here’s a sample from the last hole… where he was so busy typing he forgot to play the game.

golf4 golf3 golf2 golf1

He beat me soundly. It was match play… that means low score wins the hole… in a nine hole match like we were playing, winning four holes meant you win the match. He won the first hole outright and the Trolling began.

I could have forfeited the match, but that would be giving in, right? And if you give in to Trolls, you lose. If you respond to Trolls, you lose. If I just quit the game, after two minutes the game would have forfeited for me. I lose.

So as in real golf, I found it to be more irritating to the Troll to play when I played as slowly as possible… there is a countdown timer that starts at :45 seconds. I took 43 seconds per shot. Usually “hitting” the ball just a couple yards at a time. There is a ten stroke limit per hole and I used them all. At the final hole (#5 on the course), I quit the game… meaning he had to wait two minutes to collect his “victory.”

And that was my entertainment for the day.

Troll baiting.

resized_creepy-willy-wonka-meme-generator-no-life-why-not-become-an-internet-troll

 

 

 

Geezers in Costa Rica Can’t Hear Either

RawBird

There is a common joke floating around our group about Raw Birds… Which is code for Wrong Words.

You know, those times when the wife says something and the husband replies to something totally different because he didn’t hear? 

Like he hears Raw Birds, when she said Wrong Words.

As people age one of the main problems many face is hearing loss. The loss of one’s hearing can have a negative effect on a person’s life in many ways. It can cause difficulties at work and when socializing with friends or family. Being unable to understand and contribute to conversations can lead many people to become isolated and depressed. Because of this, it is advisable for anyone who is experiencing problems with their hearing to seek treatment.

Causes of Hearing Loss
Some people start to have hearing issues because of injury, tumors, or due to being exposed to loud noise for an extended period. It is also common for many older adults will begin to experience hearing loss due to hereditary factors.

Hearing loss can also be an issue for the elderly due to medical conditions they may be facing. These can include diseases such as diabetes, heart circulation issues, and thyroid problems. This combined with the taking of certain medications can cause a person to lose their hearing.

When you see an audiologist or other hearing professional, they will often need to get your medical history. Having this information can help them in determining the cause of your hearing loss. This can help in treatment.

Screening and Testing for Hearing Loss
As a person begins to age, it can be a good idea to undergo hearing testing on a regular basis. This can help to ensure you are hearing sufficiently. However, if a person finds they are continually asking people to repeat what they say, if they think others are always mumbling, or if they are experiencing ringing in the ear they should have their hearing tested as soon as possible.

Seeing an audiologist or other type of hearing specialist is generally the best way for a person to have their ears and hearing tested. Such a professional can use an assortment of tests to help them determine the cause and extent of the hearing loss. This information is needed to help in developing a treatment plan.

Hearing Loss Treatment
People who are experiencing any degree of hearing loss should consider having the problem treated. Even though their hearing loss may be minor, a person should treat the condition as quickly as possible. By doing this, they can often learn techniques to help in training their brain to hear more clearly. This will help in improving their quality of life.

One of the most popular ways to treat hearing loss is by using hearing aid devices, like Miracle Ear. Today’s hearing aids are digital and use highly sophisticated technology. They use algorithms to amplify certain tones and sounds. Since they are programmable, these devices can be custom designed to help a person deal with their unique hearing issues. This can help a person clear more clearly.

Hearing loss is not an easy impairment to overcome. It can affect a person’s life and interactions with others in many ways. While the condition may simply be due aging or hereditary issues, a person should still seek out treatment for the condition. This can help them to improve their ability to hear now and in the future as well. For more information, please follow Miracle Ear on Facebook.

I miss the days when I was a shade tree mechanic.

ShadeTreeMechanic

I found myself at the doctor’s office today getting scrips for some standard refills. The doctor was with another patient, but rather than sit in the reception area waiting, Jorge, Dra. Candy’s husband, asked me to follow him to his garage.

Inside sat one of the ambulances that was getting an engine rebuild by Jorge’s friends. (Note in the background that one of the mechanics is a female!)

After chatting about what had been done and what needed to be done to the engine, Jorge asked me “how do you know so much about motors?”

Because I’m old, was my reply. I remember when cars were simple and easier to fix.

My brother had a car with an engine that had seven moving parts. It was a three cylinder two-stroke engine. That meant the only moving parts were the crankshaft, three connecting rods, and three pistons.

Seven parts.
It was a DKW… four speed on the column and front wheel drive, two door coupe hardtop.
Cool car… would lay rubber easily.
RedDKW

My first car, on the other hand was a very unsexy 1949 Studebaker Land Cruiser. The Studey (stoo-dee) that my grandfather gave to me rather than trade it in. (I think he bought a Nash Rambler!)
std_1949_studebaker_land_cruiser-_

I didn’t have a driver’s license, so I drove around in a circle in a field behind the house. Of course, I ripped off the air cleaner so that one-barrel carb would make a better sound when I floored it. And the muffler came off quickly to for a “better sound.”

Among later cars I owned were – in no particular order:

  • 1939 Pontiac Coupe (never ran)
  • 1934 Plymouth Coupe (ran occasionally)
  • 1968 Oldsmobile Convertible (ran into a tree)

I miss being a shade tree mechanic.

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