No smart-assery on this post.
In the past two months, two colleagues have died of cancer, another is living on borrowed time. Four more friends have been diagnosed with cancer, and two acquaintances have it.
I know when you reach a certain age: SIXTY! the odds of knowing someone who has a deadly disease increases.
But these folks range in age from 47 to 90+.
You probably know someone who has cancer, don’t you?
Then this announcement today in Science Daily may give you pause.
A mouse resistant to cancer, even highly-aggressive types, has been created by researchers at the University of Kentucky. The breakthrough stems from a discovery by UK College of Medicine professor of radiation medicine Vivek Rangnekar and a team of researchers who found a tumor-suppressor gene called “Par-4″ in the prostate.
Here’s the other thing that will give you pause. There is no “but” in this report. The mice have no defects, grow normally, and have no toxic side effect. The mice actually live a little longer than control animals.
After moving to Costa Rica three years ago, we had a lot of adventures. Early on almost ever day brought a new and different experience. Nancy called them “adventures.” The adventures became less frequent and now I think it’s safe to say that after three years we are feeling a routine.
Here are some ways the adventures have changed to routine:
- We learned: spanish numbers well enough to pay the exact amount rather than handing over a large bill – or a handful of coins for the clerks to help themself.
- We learned: to not question the bureaucracy – never ask “why” – we have renewed our CR driver’s licenses, renewed our residency, renewed our car plates and passed the required inspection, paid property taxes, paid bills, etc. etc. The adventures attached to each of those tasks have almost become routine.
- We learned: there truly is no “routine” in Costa Rica. Often the task can be still become an adventure based on the person behind the counter.
- We learned: enough caveman spanish and pantomime gestures to communicate with almost anyone.
- We learned: how to maneuver our way through the various medical service providers, both private and public.
- We learned: how to get a fender re-attached to a car after a bad encounter with the gate-post.
For sure, I just put the jinx on us… we’ll call it an adventure…
My friend, and Corvette builder, Jim told me the last time he visited that our road was “chewing up my tires.”
Today I retired the front two tires.
I bought four new tires, on June 11, 2013… didn’t note the mileage, but I promise you the above tires have only a few thousand miles (if that) of wear.
I saved the paperwork for the 48 month “guarantee” but didn’t expect much in the way of an adjustment. Yes, it was for 48 months with no limit on mileage.
I wasn’t disappointed, I got nada.
The tires were bought from Pricesmart. PriceSmart Inc. is the largest operator of membership warehouse clubs. The Price Co. and Costco Wholesale Club merge, forming Price/Costco Inc so I was hopeful they would honor their written guarantee and at least give me a discount on replacing the tires.
I was lucky that a gringo who was fluent in Spanish was standing at the counter the same time I was. He translated for me. First they tried to blame me for not bringing the tires in sooner so they could make an adjustment. I told them I just noticed the tires falling apart last week. (True.)
Then they asked me what kind of road I drove on. Being an honest guy at heart, I said we lived on a dirt road. In a nutshell, they said the tires were designed for highway driving not off-road.
My new gringo friend lobbied on my behalf to get an adjustment… including using a Costa Rica phrase that roughly translated meant if you don’t shed tears, you don’t get help… they laughed, but stood firm.
No deals. Pay full price.
Because I drove my car on a dirt road, they refused to honor the written guarantee.
I agreed to their offer… and then they said they only had ONE tire of the right size.
So we left and went the AutoPits store and retired.
Loved their waiting room chairs. These are the most comfortable chairs in Costa Rica.
Cartex, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Hanes Brands which has produced men’s underwear for export around the globe from Costa Rica for the last 40 years, announced it will close its operations in Costa Rica and lay off all of its 1,250 staff. The company said its Costa Rica operations would be relocated to Vietnam, where the firm already has a manufacturing presence.
We moved here from Bowling Green, Kentucky where Fruit of the Loom used to be the largest employer and now is just a shell of it’s former self. The only thing left there are some corporate jobs.
So if you have a textile factory that you would like to get rid of, invite us to move into town. Within a few years, the factory will move.