Atenas Loses Goodwill Ambassadors


Tom and Kay Costello have sold their iconic Kay’s Gringo Postres and will be returning to the U.S. to be closer to family.

The Costello’s came to Costa Rica 12 years ago and opened Kay’s Gringo Postres which quickly became the “must visit” place for gringos considering relocating to Atenas.

Visitors could almost always find a gringo who had made the move already and would be willing to share their experiences and advice. Kay’s uncanny memory for names and faces made everyone know they would always be welcome at Kay’s Gringo Postres. Many recall with fondness, how they would have lunch at Kay’s during a tourism visit and return six months later and have Kay call them by name as they walked into the open air restaurant.

A feature of the restaurant that attracted local gringos to return was the free lending library. Donated books were available for anyone to check out on the honor system.

Tom and Kay Costello made a big impact on the local community by establishing a fund-raiser for Hogar de Vida, a local orphanage. Their Chili Cook Off has raised thousands and thousands of dollars to benefit the children.

On her Facebook page, Kay still was thinking of those around her, writing:


Their departure from Atenas will leave a hole that probably cannot be filled.

How to be good at everything


Some people absolutely breeze through life, don’t they? You know the sort: good looking types, charm oozing out of them, winning smiles, careers on an ever-upward trajectory, brilliant at sport, DIY, cooking, building homes with bare hands, fixing cars. Brilliant at everything. Maddening, isn’t it?

Still, why not join that crowd? Wait – don’t roll your eyes and raise your eyebrows; it can be done. With a slight disclaimer admittedly. This is how to be good at everything you do, let’s face it, if you’ve never been able to kick a ball properly you’re not suddenly going to be transform into a talented footballer overnight.

Making career progress….
Making an impression in your workplace and developing your career in the way you want it to is not always easy, and not always in your control – external circumstances can seriously effect a business. But some things are in your control and you should control those. Be punctual, dress smartly, stay sharp and bright. Ask if you can sit in on meetings, even if your presence is not requested. Ask questions, when appropriate. Communicate properly; if you’re struggling with a task, say so. Demonstrate an enthusiasm for the company and the industry it is in. Support any social events with your attendance.

… or making a career change
You can’t be good at your job if you either dislike your role or feel you are unsuited to your current profession. You have little hope of thriving if you have come up against a brick wall. That being the case it’s time to contemplate a change in career, and there is nothing to stop you. Consider what it is you want to do and if that requires you to learn a new skill, do so in your spare time and examine all the opportunities which may be available. The only person stopping you from achieving is… you.

Practice, practice, practice
There’s really no secret to being good at anything. It’s about knowledge and practice. If you have a longing to cook, or to take your cooking to a new level, practice: experiment with recipes and do so when you have time, not when you’re rushed and hungry mouths need feeding. If you want to write a novel, you can do all the research in the world but there’s no substitute for just… writing. If you want to perfect your online roulette strategy on websites like you need to familiarise yourself with playing styles and rules. That’s how to get better!

Be generous with your time
Rushed jobs are compromised jobs and the same logic applies in your personal life. If you’re a parent, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of just spending time with your children. You can cram all the clubs, hobbies and activities in as much as you like but having time for your kids is crucial, whether that is spending an hour colouring, reading a book, or just watching television together. Paying attention, and not being distracted, is the key to being a good parent.

Don’t try and be good at everything…
If this sounds like a contradiction to all that has been written before, it’s not. It’s impossible for anyone to be good at everything, no matter what impression any individual might give off. You can only cram so much into your life and there might be one or two things you need to drop: prioritize what is important and make sure you’re putting everything into these areas of your life.

Costa Rica Christmas Club: Teak

Teak Tree - Before

Teak Tree Before

Today a Tico cashed in his Christmas Club… he cut down a teak tree across the road from our house and in the farmer’s fence row. He’s been harvesting the trees ever since we moved here – about this time of year.
guyintree We’ve been told that they cut down the trees to sell the lumber for Christmas money.
Dunno if that’s true or not.
But one things for certain: they are cashing in on a generation of teak growth. It takes 30 years to grow a teak tree that would be worth selling.

A guy climbed up into the tree and limbed it out, attached a rope to pull it in the direction is was to fall and in less than an hour, the tree was in the back of his pickup.

Merry Christmas.

Video Games Proven to Be Beneficial for Geezers

Earlier this year, a report from The Guardian claimed that there’s a rise among what they call “Silver Gamers,” otherwise known as video game enthusiasts who encompass the entire age group known as “older people.” But while “younger people” might be playing purely for entertainment purposes, silver gamers are experiencing an additional positive side effect.

The article cited a study from the University of California—San Francisco, which found that “60-year-olds who played a custom-designed video game for 12 hours over the course of a month improved their multitasking abilities to levels better than those achieved by 20-year-olds playing the game for the first time.” Not only that, but it noted that “the subjects retained those improvements six months later.”

Now, while I can certainly see how some games would appeal to geezers let’s be honest: the games they’re talking about are not complex adventure/shooter console games. I’m pretty sure the majority of those who served and/or lived during the Vietnam and Gulf wars, among others, are not interested in reliving the experience through war-themed games.

The language in the games can be pretty rough too. I do not have the patience to deal with a bunch of kids telling me that they’ve done derogatory things to my mother over a headset. Saying those things to anyone, let alone someone over 60, isn’t clever—it’s just disgusting. At least have the decency to come up with a good “you’re mama” joke.

So what games are geezers more likely to play? According to Slate over a third of older adults claim to play some kind of digital game at least once a week, with 17% reporting that they game every day.

One of the most common types of games reported among the survey group were motion-detecting sports games, specifically Wii Bowling, of Nintendo’s Wii Sports. Although the writer at Slate said that seeing their grandmother play the game well would be “downright laughable”—and yes, they said they welcomed comments on their blatant agism—information from Research Digest said that playing group games like Wii Bowling with one another helped those surveyed stay socially engaged. Also, they were less likely to report feeling lonely or isolated.

In addition to sports, they also found that a large portion of Baby Boomers were drawn to card games. And when I say cards, I don’t just mean Gin Rummy. Table games and slots have become increasing popular among older gamers. Quartz writes that slot games have become very popular among the age group in Japan. Most of the thanks goes to the increased availability of the pinball-slot machine hybrid game Pachinko, which could make Japan the third most successful gambling market in the world.

Personally I’m not a fan of casinos, but I do enjoy being able to play casino games from the comfort of my own couch. The casino slots at Betfair are particularly convenient for this, not only because can players access them anywhere, but they’re ideal for those on a fixed income. For those who enjoy playing but don’t always want to take that risk, you have the option of a “just for fun” mode, where one can play without putting any money at stake. It’s certainly something they wouldn’t be too fond of offering us older folk at any physical casino, that’s for sure.

As much as it may seem cliche, the most popular game reportedly enjoyed by Baby Boomers are puzzle games. Games like solitaire and Bejeweled are two favorites, especially when played on tablets or handheld devices. Driving that point home was Sharp Games, who said said that their game sales account for half the market. They also claimed that “Perhaps in anticipation of the wave of boomers, the Centers for Medicare & Medicad Services recently began accepting comments on a proposal that could lead to reimbursements for some costs associated with brain games.”

Yeah, a lot of the games people our age are interested in probably sound simple to the younger crowd, but hell, at least they have the potential to help keep us sharp—something that the brat with a username like YoLoBiTCheZ9573 probably can’t claim. But then again he’s probably too busy coming up with witty ways to inform other users of the fact that he’s porking their loved ones.

Toughest Bike Race in The World Went Right Past our Door.


Today we went to purchase a new sofa.

And the World’s Toughest Bike Race the Ruta de los Conquistadores went by our house all day long.

We missed it.

But we got the new sofa.

That’s irony..

As we drove down our road this morning, it was hard not to notice the Ticas sitting with grills and coolers, ready to spend the day. We didn’t have a clue the race was today – let alone going by Sedolsoder.

The route begins in Jacó, the central Pacific beach town in the middle of Puntarenas province, and winds its way to the National Technical University in Atenas, a coffee town northwest of San José. (Most commuters don’t enjoy driving this distance, much less biking it). The race resumes in Tres Ríos, Cartago province – skipping much of the Central Valley, presumably because the congested traffic and multi-lane highways aren’t really condusive to mountain bikers – and ends in Turrialba, about 60 kilometers east of the capital. The third day’s ride is a straight shot from Turrialba to Puerto Limón, on the Caribbean coast, although you can’t really call that leg straight, exactly. The total distance is about 260 km (or 161 miles).

At 9:30 when we left, there were just a few cyclists and when we returned home at 3:30 we saw a few more. Checking with Maricela, we learned they had been passing all day long. Young and old, men and women. All with state of the art bikes and bikeware.

Nazareth, Moises and Gabrielle spent the entire day at our gate yelling “Si, se puedo” (Yes he can or If he can, not sure which, but both are accurate) to all the riders.

I enjoyed my new sofa.


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