Tuesday, September 30

Beach Dog Walking

Isn't this so cool!?!
My friend Mike at www.JacoSun.com took this photo of me walking Max. I just love it.
The flower in my hand is a cutting from a torch plant for my garden.

Down 777

I 'swipted' this image off of La Gringa's Blogicito in Honduras. Luckily for me, Cable Tica loses the signal for CNBC (and CBS and ABC) at the end of the month so I am not able to watch the market bleed out.
Why can't they raise the FDIC limit, like right NOW!!?!!
Back to blogging about Costa Rica and no more market talk.
It will work itself out,,,
or it won't.
Pura Vida

Monday, September 29

China's Cadbury Chocolate

IN THE YAHOO NEWS TODAY - Melamine found in Cadbury's Chocolate made in China.
Click here
Is it just me or is anyone else tired of China getting caught producing dangerously bad products? Baby's milk, dog food and now CHOCOLATE!?! The list is really, really long it you look back over this year (toothpaste, toys, etc.)
For info on Melamine, click here.
Just something to think about as I watch the stock market melt today.

Do you really trust China?
I can see it now... printed on U.S. currency, "In China We Trust". Yeah, right.

Sunday, September 28

Sunset Sunday

A dog waits by his owner's surfboard at sunset.

Christmas Sale in September

Yes, you read that right.... it's only September and the Christmas displays are up at Maxi Bodega. We may be behind the times on somethings but Christmas here is a big deal and most merchants are chomping at the bit to get their Christmas stuff out on display. I love Christmas in Costa Rica and will probably be buying more stuff to add to my collection of decorations. The manager at Maxi told me that the prices will go up in December for the decorations.

Feeding Frog Legs

O.K., I couldn't resist posting this photo even though it is blurred. It has become a ritual when I feed the dogs on the patio, the pet toad ("Froggy") comes out of hiding for her meal. She is really cute to be so ugly (cute in her ways). If I don't feed her, she will just sit there in the middle of the patio and wait for hers while the dogs eat. She hasn't tried to muscle the dogs away from their food yet. I think she understands the pecking order around here. Trust me, when she does eat, the actual grabbing the food with her tongue is so fast, I can barely see it. This particular meal had hamburger mixed in with it and she couldn't resist using her hands to shovel in the food as fast as she could. Just had to share this frog moment.

Saturday, September 27

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

There is an identical sign to this one on the main highway. Just what is "Tittled"?
I have dozens of photos of misspelled signs.

Actually, I did a spell check on "dinning" and it's correctly spelled!
What do I know anyway... I need to check the dictionary too, huh?

Friday, September 26

Bye, Bye WaMu

With banks loaning money willy-nilly for over a decade, it's no wonder we (U.S. market) is in a crisis right now. You haven't heard me say much about the stock market ever since I bought put options on Garmin and it went to the moon. I lost over $2000 which represents about two months of my allowance for living expenses. It was a huge blow to me and I tucked tail and went off to the corner to watch the market. I learned never short a stock you love. Garmin did eventually start going down and when I thought there was an adequate correction and it was trading at a fair value, I bought stocks in Garmin. The stock price has been slashed in half since I purchased those stocks. That's how it's been going... not good to worse.

My little petty stock losses are nothing compared to the millions of people losing their homes, businesses, and their retirement funds. It was announced today that JP Morgan Chase has swooped in and bought out Washington Mutual ("the largest banking failure in U.S. banking history") at a bargain basement price. I used to have a home loan with WaMu. Now, I'm debt free and have no bills except for the monthly stuff like electric, telephone, water and cable. (That spells 'FREEDOM' to me).

When the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES keeps making televised statements about the financial crisis, you know the problem has reached the red alert level. It's serious but no one listened to Jim Cramer 15 months ago when he was ranting and raving on CNBC (the clip is on YouTube) about the impending fall-out ("THEY KNOW NOTHING" - JC). Cramer saw it coming.

The domino effect could happen if something is not done fast. I'm too young to remember the 1929 rush on the banks and the banks closing their doors. Now, we have laws and FDIC insurance to help people sleep better at night but could it happen again?
Is this just a new form of terrorism? Bailout or bottom out? or both.

Thursday, September 25

The Backroads

This is a little market in Mata De Platano. Locals call it the "Mini Super" or pulpería. A true pulpería has most of the items behind the counter and you have to ask the cashier for what you want. They are usually the size of a big walk-in closet (American standards). A Mini Super is similar to the small family groceries we had in the States fifty odd years ago.

One of my favorite things to do is get in my car, destination unknown, and just drive the backroads. It is so interesting to see how other people live and visit the little communities up in the mountains. Granted, they wonder how I got so far off track but a big smile and a greeting warms them to the wandering Gringa.

I had to stop and get a shot of the clothes hung out to dry by the corral. I didn't go unnoticed by the bull and the dog. I just love scenes like this. Reminds me of a time lost.

The one photo I DIDN'T get (and wished I had) was a little tope (toh-pey). Topes are when people with horses get together and ride (horse parade), usually to raise money for a cause like to repaint the church or help the school. All entrants pay a little fee to ride with the group. At the local community center they were having a festival and all the little children (ages 3-7) were riding their stick horses around the circle drive. I got such a kick out of watching them but I didn't photograph it. My bad.

Sunday, September 21

Sunset Sunday

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted a sunset on Sunday so here, this one is for the Bloke and all y'all.
It was taken with a snapshot digital camera (HP Photosmart). No Photoshop used, it just turned out with these magnificent colors. Pura Costa Rica!

Return of the Cane Toad - Part II

These are toad-aly candid shots taken with my little HP Photosmart camera. You may wonder why I would post a part two to a frog blog but if you a steady reader of Yo-Yo, you will know I promised this 'frog blog' about a year ago when I was writing about all the ga-gillion ants here (see "Ain't Just Ants in Costa Rica").
She used to stay hidden and it was hard to photograph her but lately, she's VERY much a part of the picture. I've watched her not eat her dog food so it would attract ants. When she's had her fill of ants, she eats the dog food. Smart.
I've always considered this particular frog the dog's pet until recently. I've even started to pick her up with gloves on and pet her. I still question the poisonous part so I am careful. The dogs act like she's one of them and leave her alone. She usually makes herself present during evening feeding time by rattling the empty metal bowls on the tile floor so I hear there's no food left for her. I have taken to feeding her at the same time as the dogs and even made her a little water bed to sleep in.
By "desensitizing" the dogs to this "pet" frog, they don't go chasing after other frogs in the yard anymore. THOSE other frogs could be really dangerous.

These photos were taken last night. I was a bit alarmed to see they are multiplying. I guess the word is out in toadland that La Macha's is a great place to camp out. The new toads are identical to the "pet toad"
(I haven't named her). I wonder if these two are her offspring???
I think I will be going on a toad road trip to relocate a couple of toads to a new area.

Saturday, September 20

Return of the Cane Toad

Actually, she never left. She sleeps under the lawn mower or in a pot. We (me and the dogs) live in a delicate balance with the nature that chooses to live with us. The cane toad is considered poisonous and long ago, the dogs quit harassing her. They would get all foamy mouth when they were pups and now, they just let her be. She's been hanging around for about five years now (I think it's the same toad).

It is told that the poison creates a hallucinogenic effect that last about an hour. I don't know why more druggies just don't get high naturally by licking toads instead of robbing people to pay for their habit. Toads are plentiful. No, I've never licked him but did consider giving him a kiss before I knew he was a she. I'm referring to a past blog, The Frog Prince (and I'm JOKING for those that don't know me).

I KNOW it's a girl toad because my ritual is to feed the dogs on the patio and when she hears the metal bowls hit the tile, she comes hopping out. I always return with a small handful of dog food just for her near her spot. This one time, a black, ugly toad ambushed her just before she started to eat. He jumped on her back and no matter how hard I tried to separate him off her with the broom handle, he hung on. No food for her that night. She disappeared for awhile after that. I assume she went away and laid her eggs. She's back now and the big black ugly toad is gone (good riddance!).
The tale of the toad to be continued....maybe we'll do a toad road trip!

Monday, September 15

Independence Day Parade in Jaco

It was a beautiful day for a parade and the Jaco townspeople turned out onto main street to participate and watch the traditional parade.
If you didn't get to see it, I have tons of photos here at this site:
You can view them as a slideshow at Flickr (upper right corner). Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14

Parade of Faroles

Promptly at 6 o'clock this evening, the local people gathered in downtown Jaco began singing the national anthem. The entire country is on time for this event and the anthem is sung across the country in unison at 6 sharp. Amazing. It was fascinated to watch all the children with their parents participating in this beautiful tradition. It ended with the fireworks at the park. It was an early night tonight for the youngsters. Tomorrow is the big parade for Independence Day.

Freedom Torch

The celebration for Independence Day commenced this morning with the Lighting of the Torch. Runners carry torches throughout Costa Rica symbolizing how the message of liberation was announced back in 1821 when Costa Rica became independent from Spain. They will be greeted by the President when they reach Cartago which was the capital of Costa Rica at that time.

At 6:00 p.m. the entire country comes to a halt and everyone joins in to sing the national anthem. Following the anthem, sirens announce the beginning of the parade of faroles, homemade lanterns. The faroles are family projects the children carry walking through the streets. Some are constructed to look like houses, others resemble globes and lanterns. All are aglow and are carried proudly as the children parade down the street. Then the fireworks begin. This is just the pre-celebration for the big parade event tomorrow - Independence Day for Costa Rica.

Thursday, September 11

9/11 Remembered

It really doesn't matter who you are, you remember where and what you were doing on this day, seven years ago. Here in Costa Rica, flags are everywhere for the celebration of their Independence Day on September 15th. I can imagine back home in the States, the U.S. flags are flying high and proud as we unite on this day in remembrance of the most tragic and horrifying day in our collective life.
God Bless America and our Freedom.

Wednesday, September 10

Jaco Beach City

click on photo for close up. To return, click back arrow (upper left corner)

These two photos were taken yesterday. When I look back....
We have had so many beautiful days in a row, I forget we are headed dead straight for rainy season. I saw some of the effects of the little rain (in comparison) we did get recently and it is amazing how THE EARTH MOVES. Call it erosion, I see the effects in my own backyard. Slowly, my backyard is sinking towards the beach.

Sunday, I took a walk on the beach and couldn't believe, the high sand dunes that separate the river from the ocean are GONE. Vanished. Wide open clear, CLEAN beach. Weird. Usually with the rains, we get tons of driftwood on the beach. No debris, just wide open space. I hardly recognized it. My solution to my erosion problem is to build a pool. I need the fill dirt. It all fits perfectly for my solutions to the gradual erosion. Plus, less grass to mow. Something to think about as I'm pushing my lawn mowing, trenching out the back lot line for drainage and trimming hibiscus hedges full of ants so the sun can shine through and dry out the grounds...

The photo below was taken in 2004 when the parking lot of Marea Brava was taken out to sea with all the heavy rains. You really can't believe how much rain comes down in one session unless you've lived it.
Pura Vida.
Since this photo, Marea Brava has reinforced that side of the lot twice. The last time was with rocks in cages which held strong during the last rain. The time before, the rocks delivered weren't in cages and they were promptly washed out by the river.

This next photo was taken up on the mountain and you really can't tell how very large those trees are from the photo. Those trees are just perched on a sliver of the mountain above the road, waiting for the next big rain.

And I bet you thought this post was going to be about "Jaco Beach City". I don't have much to say about that right now. I am still in awe.

October Sunset

Year 2004

Saturday, September 6


Just a pretty picture for Veronica at 3-D Computers in Jaco. See you next week!
Song - "It's a Beautiful Morning" by the Rascals (blast from the past)
... wait for it (I put the music back on)