Oh Granny!

Ξ July 17th, 2005 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Ewwwwww!, Humor |

A Berlin grandmother who has worked the city’s red light district as a prostitute for the last 49 years plans to retire when she turns 64 next year. She said she charges 30 euros ($36) and on good nights she has four to five clients.

She said her husband drops her off for work each night after watching the evening news. Now THIS guy must just be a gem! How thoughtful he doesn’t make her take the bus!


by Lance Armstrong

Ξ July 17th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Quotes |

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?” Lance Armstrong – Six time (and maybe seven time) winner of the Tour de France.


State Hospital System is a Disaster

Ξ July 15th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Costa Rica |

State Hospital System (CAJA) is Collapsed According to Ministerio de Salud

According to an recent evaluation by the Ministerio de Salud (Health Ministry) the state hospital system in Costa Rica has practically collapsed. That news was made public by the Ministerio de Salud to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) on Tuesday, the same day that nineteen people lost their lives in a fire at Calderón Guardia hospital in downtown San José.

Most critical is the state of the hospital’s buildings and the lack of medical, nursing and pharmaceutical staff, the report said.

I disagree! The safety factor is equally, if not more, important

Most have no emergency fire exits, not all the fire extinguishers work and if they do work, not everyone knows how to use them.

The report measured the standards maintained by the CCSS at it’s hospitals. The results? All the state hospitals (except the new hospital in Alajuela), failed the test in all areas. The state hospitals barely make the grade at the lowest levels of standards.

The San Juan de Di­os is the oldest of the state hospitals dating back some 160 years. TV photos today showed a disaster waiting to happen. Ironically, after Tuesday’s fire, all patients were moved there!

Dr. Miguel Alfaro, chief of surgery at the Hospital San Juan de Di­os made this comment:

“There is one Costa Rica on paper and the other in practice…”,

Earlier this week, one Spanish language daily newspaper showed the failure of a hospital to react in an emergency when it took 15 minutes for security personnel to find the key to an locked emergency stairwell at the west side of the building.

Just incredible!



Fire Kills 19 at Hospital in Costa Rica

Ξ July 12th, 2005 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Costa Rica |

ML and I were awakened early this AM with the news that there was a huge fire burning at Hospital Calderón Guardia, the hospital where she has worked for 30 years.

We flipped on the TV to see flames engulfing the whole area near where she works. Fire torn through the top three floors of the northeast corner of the hospital So far, 19 people have died. One of the dead was a nurse and a friend of Maria’s. Oddly, there is one body still unidentified.

Nearly all were patients who died were trapped on the fifth floor. Incredibly, all but one hospital in Costa Rica is equipped with smoke detectors and only one has emergency exits! This to me is simply astounishing.. I mean a smoke detector costs about $10 and certainly would have provided an early warning.

Firemen and Cruz Roja (red cross) from all over the Valley converged on the hospital just after 2 a.m. Patents hung from the windows, ledges and from the supporting columns of the hospital structure. Several climbed to the street on ladders. One guy escaped by knotting together bedsheets and lowering himself from the fourth floor.

ML’s office was completely destroyed allong with 30 years of records, books and family memorabilia. She is heartbroken as these records simply cannot be replaced.

Calderón Guardia is one of the largest hospitals in Costa Rica. This is so sad.



Another reason to love the Brits!

Ξ July 11th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Rants, Whatever |

I was just watching Fox a while ago. One of the stories was how the Brits returned to work as normal this morning, the first work week after the attacks.

This is not surprising to me.

Last week, some pundit on cable announced (with the arrogance and confidence of all pundits) how the British would just fold their tents and cave in to the terrorist threat exactly as Spain did over a year ago. I just laughed at this ignoramus.

My immediate response was “horseshit!”.

If ever there were a people on the face of the earth who who never cave into anything anywhere at any time, it is most assuredly the British.

These are the people who weathered incredible hardship in World War 2. The bombings, the deprivation… incredible people… incredibly tough people. They dealt with the IRA. They already know terror, and they will face this challenge as they always have.

In fact, of all the countries in the world, about the only two I am pretty sure will never cave in to the terrorists are the United Kingdom (specifically Great Britain) and the USA. Once again, the terrorist picked the wrong target.

To you Londoners, I am so very sorry for your tragic loss, and I wish you strength and courage as again you are faced with an enemy totally devoid of honor.

Also interviewed this AM was Gerald Posner (crummy website alert) who was making comments that Londoners should have had ample warning of these attacks as they have allowed to flourish a relatively large population of Islamic mosques advocating terrorism, and more specifically, terror attacks against Great Britain. I have no idea if this is true. My position on the pundits should be clear. In any case, if it is true, that was and is a great mistake. I find it personally sad that in these days, normal peace loving and abiding people may have to sacrifice some of their rights… but I am more than willing to sacrfice some of mine if it means greater security for the whole. The world has changed and we are most assuredly at war.

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Sasser Worm Creator Awarded Freedom

Ξ July 10th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Geeky Stuff, Rants |

Wired News: Sasser Worm Creator Avoids Lockup
VERDEN, Germany — The teen creator of the Sasser internet worm, which caused millions of dollars in damage worldwide, won’t be going to jail despite his conviction Friday on charges including computer sabotage.

Sven Jaschan, 19, who was fingered with the help of ($250,000) reward money from Microsoft, instead got a 21-month suspended sentence and was ordered to do community service, court spokeswoman Katharina Kruetzfeld said.

How ridiculous is this? This little butt-hole gets 30 hours of community service after causing millions of dollars of damage world-wide. What a message to send to all the other socially inept, sexually inadequate, attention seeking misfits.

The court claims he just wanted attention and respect from his ‘peers’. How silly. With this ‘sentence’, they just GAVE him all he wanted, AND sent a message that this is how to get it with nothing more than a wrist slap. He was only days short of his 18th borthday. Really just a child I guess… not aware of his actions.

I guess the German courts are following the lead of other European courts in not making these little shits responsible for their actions. What a deterrent!

I can’t wait until he hacks the courts computer system! Think the sentence would be the same?


Ugh! Spanish… and those Terms of Endearment

Ξ July 10th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Costa Rica, Humor |

I can speak a bit of Spanish. In San José, I am able to say just about anything I need to say. I can understand those who speak Spanish to me as long as they don’t go full speed. I do OK. I make mistakes of course, but most of my Tico friends are patient souls and “get it”.

However, when I go to the country… they speak a who different Spanish. I hate to visit ML’s family as I cannot understand a single word. It’s like I fell off the boat yesterday.

I can also write a bit of Spanish though the little accent marks can cause problems. You wouldn’t THINK they are that important, but they are!


A few months ago, a woman wrote to me seeking employment. Her email was in Spanish and I had no problem understanding her. She gave me a brief resumé of her experience and mentioned she had one child, a son.

I wrote her back, and one of my questions was about the age of her son. In Spanish, we ask “how many years do you have”. Seemed simple enough!

However… the word for years in Spanish is años. Notice that little thingy over the n? That is a tilde. As it turns out, it is quite important! It not only affects how the word is pronounced, it can also affect the meaning. If you leave off the tilde, you of course get anos. Well anos IS a different word in Spanish. It means anus!

When I replied to her I asked “Cuantos anos tiene su hijo?” Or “how many rectums has your son?”.

In typical Tico style, she replied “El tiene solo un ano pero tiene doce años! This translates to “He has only one rectum but he is 12 years old!”

I hired her of course.

Sometimes my lack of Spanish causes a commotion. When I first arrived in Costa Rica, devoid of Spanish skills, I found myself in need of toilet paper.

I went to the local store and asked for papel (the only word I knew dealing with paper). After several misdirections (i.e. school paper, etc.), I found myself in true NEED of toilet paper if you catch my drift.

In exasperation, I finally remembered another word dealing with “that area” so asked (quite loudly) where I could find “papel de culo“. Ummm… culo, as it turns out, is a VERY bad word and is NOT used in public. Well after the initial gasps, everyone in the store fell out all over the place in peals of laughter. God I love Ticos!

In any case, my meaning was crystal clear, I got my “papel higiénico” (the correct words as I learned later), and rushed home.

I have never returned to that store.

Terms of endearment are really different. In the US, we call our lovers sweetie, darling, etc. Here, we use mi vida, mi corazon, mi amor or respectively, my life, my heart and my love. Cool huh?

However, there are a ton of other words… such as gordita, mi gordita linda, flaca, and negra. Gordo means fat and flaco means skinny. The “a” means female! Lindo is “pretty”.

These thus translate to “little fat girl”, “my pretty little fat girl”, “skinny woman”, and “black woman” respectively with the last one having nothing to do with the skin color of your sweetie!

How different the cultures! I don’t believe I ever even thought for a second to call any of my US-born girlfriends “My pretty little fat girl” and I know had I done so, I might not be writing in this blog today! But that is how it is here. I DO call ML gordita (she is NOT… she is thin and tall), and she calls me her “gordito lindo” (far more accurate except for the “lindo” art).

These terms of endearment are not limited to couples. Everywhere you hear men calling their male friends “gordo”, “flaco” and others.

What the meaning is for negra is more difficult for me to understand. I am not permitted to call ML negra until after we are married. I will too!


Another reason to hate the French

Ξ July 5th, 2005 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Rants |

NOIRMOUTIER, France — Six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong underwent a surprise doping test at his hotel on Friday afternoon, a control which raised questions as the American was the only rider to be tested.

The Texan was the only rider to be tested a second time, two days after blood testing on all 189 Tour starters.

But French sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour said on Saturday in Noirmoutier that his agencies were not behind the random test.

Ha! Whatta crock of shit!

What an incredible bunch of sore losers are the French. After SIX prior Tour wins and absolutely NO evidence of any doping after dozens or tests, they still cannot fathom how a lowly American could possible be that good. So they do everything they can to put him off his game.

Damn… what a low life group of people are the French. A totally classless group of trash.


Basta! It’s time to invade Aruba!

Ξ July 5th, 2005 | → 5 Comments | ∇ Rants |

Got your attention?

My TV news fix in Costa Rica is pretty much limited. Thank God for the Internet.

We get the Clinton News Network (CNN) in both English and Spanish and Fox, Fox gets most of my news viewing time as CNN is just so freaking pinko and biased I cannot deal with their constant flow of left-wing drivel.

Fox, however, lately seems to have taken an almost fixated view of this Natalee Holloway deal in Aruba. They have built nearly their whole news coverage on this case.

It is impossible to tune in for more than 15 minutes without an ALERT or some “BREAKING NEWS” on this poor girls disappearance. I feel terrible for this girl’s family.

CNN pretty much ignores the whole thing and there is almost no coverage elsewhere on the net.

What bugs me the most though is that although Fox is investing a ton of air time on her disappearance, they just don’t seem to “get it”, or if the do, they are not saying it aloud. I feel like the kid that was yelling “The king has no clothes!”.


In the beginning, they were terrified of the loss of US tourism.

Now, they have strung this thing out to the point where few people care.

They do not want this case solved. They want it to go away!

This has been clear from the first week when the Aruban “police” allowed these miscreants (the suspects) the opportunity to get together, build a story, and impede the investigation. There seems ample evidence the father of the chief suspect has been advising his son on this issue.

What a joke this is, and shame on Fox for not getting nasty on this issue. Fox should be taking the lead on this since they have appointed themselves the Natalee Holloway experts!

The Aruban government, with Fox’s cooperation, has successfully stalled this case to the point where there is no righteous indignation and the story itself has withered from the mainstream news.

What WILL get the attention of the Aruban government would be a full-court press by Fox encouraging their viewers to boycott Aruba until this case is resolved. Aruba depends almost entirely on tourist dollars. Cut off those dollars and I can guarantee a change in attitude. Even the precious son of an Aruban official will not be worth the loss of an entire country’s economy. Fox did this with the French and the resulting boycott has cost France dearly.

I am not going to wait for Fox to lead this. ML and I are now planning our honeymoon. For the past few months, we narrowed our choices to Mexico and Aruba with Aruba taking a slight lead as seemed more “exotic” and sexy.

We made the decision yesterday to go to Mexico.

I realize our measley few thousand tourist dollars will not make much difference to the future of Aruba, but it makes me feel a bit better to know my dollars will not be going to fuel a corrupt government. To this day, I still will not buy products from France.

There are a ton of beautiful, tropical island destinations in the Carribean, not to mention Costa Rica and Mexico.

Planning your trip? Put a pass on Aruba until they get serious about this thing.


Blog Clients

Ξ July 4th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Blogging stuff |

I am trying to find a good blog client… i.e. a neat little program that runs on my PC and allows a greater range of editing options. It also means I do not have to login to the admin panel to blog something.

I have downloaded and installed ecto, BlogJet and w.blogger.

This particular post is being made with w.blogger, a FREE client.

One thing I note is that the spell checker does not come with the word blog.

I’ll be playing with all of them over the next two weeks, so if you want feedback, check back under this category.

Sadly, it appears that NONE of them support the neat little “Slippery” plug-in that I use extensively.


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