Fresh bread

The beep of a motorbike horn and the bread guy’s here, bringing two loaves of home-baked whole wheat bread as he does every Wednesday. After the first month of buying his bread we found we still had a loaf of store-bought ‘whole wheat’ bread – it wasn’t even moldy.

While locals and foreigners alike moan about the excessive government bureaucracy and anti-business climate in Uruguay, the bread guy shows the free market at its best. In the United States, no doubt he’d run the risk of arrest and imprisonment, ‘for the protection of the citizens.’

Go figure

A couple came by our house last night. We’d never met them before. They’ve been vacationing here for two weeks. They’re opening a restaurant in March. They invited us for the opening. Their restaurant is in Rosario, 700 km from here.
36 Million people live in Argentina, over 15 million of them in Buenos Aires province. A million live in Rosario. We’ve been to Rosario before, but only for an hour-long bus tour dinner stop.
The only other in-country Argentinians we know both live in Rosario. One is their business partner Susana, who we know from Mexico. The other is Keri, who we met years ago in Buenos Aires – through friends in Hawaii. 
We’ll probably go.

Data zen

Before we left the U.S. in a pickup truck, I scanned my letters to my parents from the 70s and 80s, carefully saved by my mother, and got rid of a small pile of paper. A few months ago, I turned those megabytes of scans into one 86 kb text file (and for the first time actually read the letters again – some useful insights).

Tracking book production for the last several years, I have accumulated 14.7 megabytes of documents. All jobs are complete, and paid for, and I realized I only care to preserve four bits of data: date, quantity, item, supplier. Which fits in a text file of 3,653 bytes.

Instead of five or six minutes, I can’t even blink in the time it takes to back up that information to a server halfway around the world.

Back to the future: text files.

When thinking fails

I spend an afternoon learning, at a business that deals in renewable energy installations: solar, wind, sunflower biofuel, deep and shallow earth climate control, 10:1 efficient LED lighting. New ideas. Stimulating.

My mind boggles, wanders, speculates, contemplates the most energy-hogging device we own. How much solar and wind energy, I wonder, would it take to power our electric clothes drier?

Dogs running free

A kindly older woman stops her bicycle on the dirt road to lecture me briefly about having my dogs loose. I know this lecture. I had it a year ago, and changed my route slightly to avoid passing her house.

I think of possible responses, and my Spanish is far enough along that I can probably make a conversation of it. For what?

Entiendo, I say. I understand.

Entiende, she says. You understand.

She continues one way on her bicycle. I continue the other way, leash in hand, dogs loose.

Time to change my route again.

Squeaky toy

Early at my desk. Back door open for pets. Suddenly a loud squeaky toy. But our pets have no squeaky toys. Rush to dining room, drag the little dog from hell by its tail from underneath the sideboard. In the next moment cradle in my hands a small brown songbird, upside down, damaged, panting furiously. I carry it to side wall. Its eyes blink, look at me. I imagine healing energy from my hands, but it looks like a goner. I gently place it – not upside down – atop the wall amongst squash plants, safe from cats.
An hour later, it’s gone. Apparently not a goner after all.

Yard man

Walking toward the beach, a bicycle approaches. A guy my age or more, graying hair, riding at a decent speed. With his left arm, he carries a rake. With his right arm near the seat, he tows an electric lawn mower, cord neatly coiled atop. I turn and watch, somewhat in awe, and listen to the whirring of the lawnmower wheels, quieter and quieter.

The legendary Hotel Termas!

Before my theme included the word short, and only a few months after arriving in Uruguay to live, we went with our friends Syd and Gundy on a bus tour of northern Argentina, seeing many things we would never have otherwise. Including this gem.

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7 Apr 2010

“The legendary Hotel Termas de Rosario de la Frontera has conditioned its facilities and opened its doors once again to all the visitors in search of the tranquility and health offered by its hot spring waters.”

Before looking at my little 10-minute photo essay, done with a borrowed camera on our way back from northern Argentina, please take a minute or two to check out this review of the hotel, from which the quote above is taken.

Welcome!

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You’ve found a cozy, clean spot and we want to make sure you enjoy everything about your stay.

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You can have a sunny room overlooking the front…what are all those dots, you ask?

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Why, they’re moths — moths enjoy this area as well.

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Perhaps you’d prefer a room facing the courtyard? Anyway, have a look around!

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Peek into our well-maintained, modern  kitchen…

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…catch a glimpse of our efficient and clean laundry room.

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Then make your way to our luxurious individual spa rooms.

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It’s not every day a person gets to bathe in radioactive mud!

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Our facility invites you to explore…

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Wander around our lovingly landscaped gardens…

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…find a little something special in our boutique…

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Or just make yourself at home in our welcoming front lounge, where dedicated and professional staff stand ready to serve your every need!