The caterpillar cloud

strange cloud at sunset, Atlántida, Uruguay

This actually appeared two nights ago; bumped because of wanting to record the first frost of the year. If ever a cloud looked like a creature with a purpose, this would be it.

 

 

Budweiser beer in Uruguay

I am neither a connoisseur nor regular consumer of beer, though I like it. In my callow (whatever that means) youth , I consumed various American too-cold soda-water-fizzy beers. I remember Pabst and Schlitz being shit, and maybe I favored Budweiser because my father did, and maybe settled on Michelob as the “good stuff” (cool bottles).

Michelob beer bottle

Fast forward, and here in 2017 the shit Budweiser from the U.S. (not the supreme Budweiser Budvar) is on display in Tienda Inglesa.

Shit Budweiser beer on sale, Uruguay

A standard six-pack of 12 ounce (.33 l) bottles rings up at just about USD 10.

Beer, Uruguay

A few meters away you can buy a 3-pack of Zillertal (.97 l each).

Almost 50% more of a superior beer for a peso more.

So who would want Budweiser? Maybe someone who thinks it’s a bargain because they advertise it in shopping points?

 

Firewood!

High on my priorities today: order firewood. We‘ve been burning leftovers, curupay scraps, and some of this load from a house I‘m looking after. Most of it is green, but there was some very dry pine as well.

Checy Meriva laden with firewood

The going price for red eucalyptus (considerably denser than white eucalyptus) appears to be 5,000 pesos per kilo.  That’s up just a bit from 3,000 pesos three years ago!

First place I went, I could feel the humidity with my hand (I hadn’t brought the meter). They told me it was six months old — which of course means pretty useless right now. The second place said theirs was seven months old, no better.  I took my meter to the third place, and immediately ordered. The weather has been dry for a while, probably won’t be after a few more days, so perfect time to order. I told them to deliver after 4:00, and returned at 3:58 to find the truck already there, the message obviously not having been forwarded. No biggie; grabbed my gloves and helped the two muchachos stack it.

Eucalyptus colorado, Uruguay

The round stuff on the right was already there, but wow! Compare this to the “ton” delivered in July 2013: look at the height above the little stool in the center.

Scanty "ton" of firewood, Atántida, Uruguay

Moisture content of firewood, Uruguay

I’ll be buying from the Esso station in Las Toscas in the future!

 

 

 

 

 

Barbershop decor

Last time I had a haircut — many months ago — it was by the Uruguayan husband of a German woman Katerina, who has a successful shop in Atlántida (calle 1 y Ciudad de Montevideo). He did a very nice job, and I was glad to make my (overdue) return.

But this time, the girly space had expanded to an additional room on the side, and he was waiting in what was clearly the man cave barbershop.

barber shop, Atlántida, Uruguay

This is the view from the chair. You’ve got to admit it’s awesome!

 

 

Half a lemon times two

Some people consult the Farmer’s Almanac and moon phases for best times to prune trees. I don’t.

For me, there are two “best times“ to prune a tree: 2) when I feel like it, and 1) when the wife tells me to do it, as she did today.

So, log-handled loppers in hand, directed by her, squinting into the sun, I lopped off the biggest branch first. As it fell, so did a lemon. But when I picked it up, I found half a lemon — seriously, almost exactly half a lemon, neatly sliced lengthwise.

Where was the other half? You guessed it: still attached to a branch overhead.

lemon cut in half by loppers

What are the chances of perfectly cutting in half a lemon you didn’t even see?

Well — maybe greater than one would expect with a tree that seems to be trying to communicate with us.

 

 

Astillas

Wooden laders destined to become kindling, Uruguay

For over a month now, I’ve been supervising repairs on a house whose American owners haven’t been here in six years. The caretaker died of cancer a couple years ago. Leaving a house unmaintained is bad anywhere, but with the humidity, really bad in Uruguay.

Today I brought home two ladders (one on the ground cut in two pieces to fit in the car). The vertical one is completely ruined by bugs — notice the bottom rung, broken from just a little weight.

The one on the ground is equally scary. All that wire desperately wound to hold the thing together. That could be ten years old. More likely 15 or 20. Or more: the house was built in the 1960s.

Astillas? Kindling. My next fun-with-dangerous-power-tools project!

 

 

Strange animal spotted on dog walk

dog digging

OK, you figured it out: it’s not a strange type of animal, but Kiya the dog, with her obsession for digging holes (in the middle of the path, in this case) certainly qualifies as a somewhat strange animal.

She’s quite accomplished, though. This is phase 1 of digging. In a moment she will bag up for phase 2, kicking the sand she’s just dug clear of the hole.

 

 

1942 Ford — rare gem

I spotted this gem parked on the highway one day, thought to take a picture but didn’t, and the next morning it appeared in front of our house.

British 1942 Ford V8

Although it doesn’t show in the photo, the only identification on the front was “V8.” So I walked around back, where again I saw “V8,” and only then “Ford.” The owner was walking back to get parts out of the back, and told me it was a 1942.

British 1942 Ford V8
Right hand drive

¡Impecable! as some people here are fond of saying. But wait — he was getting parts out of the back? Yes, a car battery, is seems. At least for this day, this was a car mechanic’s working vehicle, a 75-year old show car.

Increíble.

Treework

Amazing to watch tree workers in action. Yesterday (yes, Sunday) involved removing all the lower branches from pine trees at the house of friends.

Quite a show.

pruning a pine tree, Uruguay

His brother removing an acacia that was leaning over the roof. Not a bit fell onto the roof in the process.

taking down a leaning acacia tree, Uruguay

An old stump five meters high had a non-functioning light fixture on it. That was removed, stump cut down, and birds flew in to feast on the ants inside, mostly oblivious to me standing two meters away.

And another surprise: look at how the rings grew on that angled limb in the first two pictures!

I find it quite amazing that none of these trees has come down in severe windstorms during the six years the owners have been gone, but it seems much less likely now. And, a lot fewer pine needles to clear off the roof.

pruned pine trees, Uruguay