The numbers

This is what I saw on our refrigerator yesterday morning. 66-44-77-66. Struck me as rather unusual, but then it’s been happening a lot lately: glancing at the clock at 11:11 or 15:15. I even glanced at the electronic odometer in the new car a few weeks ago to find it was the same as the time on the clock.


Anyway, I never imagined I’d live in a place where I would consider 60% relative humidity “dry,” but Uruguay is that place. As you might surmise from my note on the AcuWRONG device in the photo, the accurate humidity reading is actually 12% more.

Today is again completely overcast and windy. I’ve got the wood stove cranked up, even though for economic reasons (lower electrical rates during the day) it makes more sense to use the electric “split” (heat/AC) unit. The more dry heat we can get today, the better!

And I think back to wood stoves up north with cast iron kettles boiling water on top for humidity – nooooooo!

Later that day: get in car after walking dog, glance at clock….

car clock


Santa Rosa 2018

Apparently the Santa Rosa storms have arrived. It’s dreary, and windy, and rainy. So perhaps appropriate to post photos I took a few days ago, on a beach walk, when I thought the weather was just awful, and rightly predicted that virtually no one else would be on the beach. (Hint: no blue sky today!)

dune walkway, Uruguay

This is the access board walkway I have shown many times in the past. Because of a “valley” walkway through the dunes to the beach, “they” built a board walkway. But “they” didn’t realize that, free of erosion, the dune would naturally build back to its original height, maybe 1.5 meters higher than the highest point of the walkway, making it the second choice for crossing the dunes. But it gets “better:” to the left (from this perspective), the new “valley” has now become so massive that it’s actually stripped away dunes from where they grew over the walkway. Great work by whoever “they” are (who BTW also budgeted zero for maintenance).

lifeguard shack, Uruguay

In the next town over (five blocks away), I am heartened to see that I am not the only one disgusted with the fishermen who leave behind their trash.

Using the formal (su instead of tu), graffiti implores one to take [away] your trash. And then, Mister Fish[erman] (a little confusing to me, since it seems to say pescada, whereas “fish” in this sense (literally caught) is pescado, care for the river. I have explained – but with over 1,000 posts, don’t easily find – that the Uruguayans consider this thing that others might reasonably call an ocean, having no flow nor other side, a river. In fact, an estuary. Whatever.

Anyway, I find the formal and polite nature of this message amusing. Perhaps explains why I found some of my stickers apparently scratched off trash containers, as if they were too norteamericano blunt.

But hey, they got the job done – sort of. More on that later.

Trash tour in the Villar Wilderness

I took Mocha to run today. He was neutered one week ago and has been constrained as a result. The weather was on-and-off, and Syd had gone with his dogs earlier, during a clear break. So it was just us, traversing this route for the first time in a few weeks. Happily, no motos, no quads, no horses, no woodcutters – OK, a few cows that Mocha ran to and barked at – but with little apparent result (with Benji they would have been making noise and moving, not a Good Thing.)

I’ve previously written about trash dumped there in the middle of nowhere, for no apparent reason, but it continues to beggar the imagination. Consider this location —

— where we now find a discarded Epson printer. And not just discarded: the blue-green stuff to its left are the bits of glass from the deliberately smashed display. So somebody carried this thing far into an empty area, only for the purpose of smashing its display screen and leaving it?

deliberate trash Uruguay

A bit further along, new discarded clothing, apparently children’s winter wear. So we’re in the middle of winter, and the best thing you can think to do with unneeded clothing that can keep a child warm, is not to donate it to the take-anything thrift shop, or even discard it in the ubiquitous trash containers for some scavenger to find, but carry it hundreds of meters into the middle of nowhere and throw it on the ground where it will serve no one?

deliberate trash Uruguay

I’m sure at some point I documented the sudden appearance of discarded auto parts. These have in fact diminished – there were, if I recall, three windshields. The other two, unbroken, have apparently been harvested. And maybe other parts as well. I have photos here, elsewhere, somewhere.

deliberate trash Uruguay

At another location, where overnight appeared a huge pile of construction plastic sheeting some time ago, now widely scattered by the wind, a new visual accent: a smashed and probably UV-sun-rotted plastic dish rack. (But why so shattered?)

deliberate trash Uruguay

I discussed this over dinner with my wife. Perhaps we’re not witnessing a cultural manifestation (these people!), or necessarily a low level of awareness (these troglodytes!).

Maybe something different: an expression of frustration, anger. Not that you would experience that meeting them. But they are expressing frustration and anger about their environment – not discerning physical from emotional. Trashing their physical environment somehow serves an emotional need, not so much different from people who cut themselves.

Down the rabbit hole…

These is the image Paul refers to in his comment below.

Uruguay trash



First frost 2018

Since it doesn’t snow in Uruguay, frost has become a substitute. But it’s always fleeting: the clear sky that reflected no radiating heat last night allows the morning sun to make quick work of the frost. And it persisted all day today, making it lovely, sunny, and almost warm at times. Now the sun has gone down again, and any semblance of warmth with it. No doubt we’ll see frost again tomorrow.

First frost 2018 Uruguay

First frost 2018 Uruguay

Finally, a break from dreary weather

To be fair, we have had some episodes of sunshine during the last five or six days, but the overall weather theme has been dreariness. Today we had scattered clouds and bright (but not warm!) sun.

Interestingly, several years ago we were told by a solar guy that with a hot water system in Uruguay, you need to plan your tank capacity for three days without sun, on average the longest you’d need. In the short time since then, several winters have proved that quite inaccurate. We never got a solar hot water system installed – a little complicated on our house – so I don’t pay particular attention, but it seems to me there have been many stretches longer than three days without sunshine.

Anyway, a new sight today, several blocks from the end of the feria:

cany sweet, whatever that means

“Candy sweet.” A ladder up a tree, and further to the left, a gas-powered electrical generator. Since it was chilly, I didn’t hang around to learn more of the nature of the (presumed) business. There will be time, if it becomes a regular feature. More likely, though, is that it will simply go away, maybe after a couple more appearances.

sunset, Atlántida, Uruguay

And a lovely sunset, with a clear sky undimmed by criss-crossing “persistent contrails” (nudge nudge wink wink) that mar the sky almost always and almost everywhere in North America and Europe.