Category: Stuff

The coin nobody wants

I got two coins in my change last Thursday at the feria. They are the same diameter, though one is slightly thinner.

the thoroughly unloved Uruguayan 50-peso coin

Here the thinner one is on the left. It’s quite plain, not at all distinctive, and just looks cheap compared to the one on the right.

the thoroughly unloved Uruguayan 50-peso coin

When you flip them over, the distinctive one clearly states its value. The other you really have to take into bright light (as I did for the picture) in order to read.

the thoroughly unloved Uruguayan 50-peso coin

Yes, that wretched coppery coin is worth FIVE TIMES the other.

Normally I get rid of them in the very next transaction, so normally I would not have one to show, but this was from my last purchase of the day.

Is it just me? I asked the cleaning girl today when she arrived. No, she confirmed, everyone hates them.

Issued in 2011, it says Bicentenario de los hechos historicos. Which means (drum roll, please) Bicentennial of historic events. What events? They’re not saying.

It’s not the first 50 peso coins, but at least the others clearly stated their denomination.

It’s an idiotic coin, produced by idiots. I will pass this one on this afternoon, when I stop by the butcher’s.


Update: done.

 

 

Those ceiling spiders

I have nothing against spiders. They eat lots of critters, and that’s a good thing. What’s less good is when they decide to hang out at the tall peak of our bedroom ceiling, and we end up with insect inedibles drifting toward the floor (fortunately not directly above where we sleep).

I finally decided I had struggled with our foldable ladder (which gives us access to above-stairs storage) one too many times. So off to the workshop, and after a few fits and starts, this:

homemade bug spray extender

The lever and plunger are slightly off to the side, so the spray doesn’t hit the wire. And why wire instead of string? Simple — I don’t have any string!

So now I can stand on a chair that lives a meter away, reach up, and spray with much more accuracy than when I had to lean back off the ladder against the wall. Not exactly pretty to look at, but hey, it works!

I don’t like the idea of spraying poison. My ultimate solution will be a lightweight vacuum cleaner extension, but I can’t make that from stuff I have lying around. Up north, I’d wander around Home Depot until I found something that worked. Here, I have to tell someone in a store what I’m trying to do, have them rummage around and come back with the wrong thing, try again, try again—.

 

 

Another dead light bulb

Aren’t these things supposed to last eight years? Well, we have been here a little more than eight years, and this bulb is kaput.

dead Philips compact fluorescent light bulb

To be fair, it was in my wife’s office, and heavily used. It’s also definitely more than a year or two old, whenever it was I started writing the date and source on the bulb in indelible marker as soon as I got it home.

You may recall the wretched bulbs Tienda Inglesa introduced after its American takeover.

 

Syd’s suggestion

As I mentioned in my last post, my best efforts were for naught when it came to re-installing the tire after I installed an inner tube on the hand truck/dolly. The tire I inherited simply did not behave like the ones in YouTube videos. I’m pretty strong, but it just wasn’t happening.

Because Syd mentioned the gomería (tire shop; translates as “gum,” unh huh) on Ruta 11, I stopped by there this afternoon. They don’t know me — I went maybe there once six years ago — and the place was crazy busy. No sign of an office. How long would I have to wait before someone noticed me — and then how long before they could get around to it? I was in no hurry, and would happily have left the hand truck there for, well, whenever.

But a kid (anything under 35 is a kid at this point) noticed me. I quickly explained in Spanish that I’d installed an inner tube, but no way could get the tire back on.

Whatever he was doing, he stopped. Tried to do the job by himself with big-ass tire pry bars they have (an order of magnitude larger than the screwdrivers I have), called over another worker to help him, and it took them a couple of minutes, working together, to fight the tire back onto the rim. Nice! Wasn’t just my incompetence!

In the process (don’t ask me how) the other (non-tube) tire lost all its air. No matter. He filled both, passed the rig back to me.

How much do I owe you?, I asked.

He simply waved me off.


Please remind me of this the next time I complain about business in Uruguay.

Hand truck in my garage, Urguay

G-clamps

I bought a hand truck (dolly) a couple years ago from some departing Americans. They warned that one of the tires loses air over time, an issue I tried to deal with a couple times at local tire places. Eventually, though, to no avail. With no inner tube, you can’t get air back in with something as slow as a bicycle pump.

So I brought an inner tube back from the US, since I happened to be going and was an easy add-on to an existing free-shipping order.

It took a bit of work to get the tire lose, and then putting the tube in was no big deal. But getting the tire back on? Impossible!

Then I found this wonderful video. My solution! But I needed some C-clamps, which understandably are called “G” clamps here.

G-clamps in Uruguay

So I immediately set to work with them, and …

… *sigh* later I’ll be taking the hand truck to the local tire place, to see if they have a way to get the tire over the rim.

The “G” clamps will prove themselves useful in other ways, no doubt.