Unhappy day in Uruguay

I refer, of course, to Uruguay getting booted out of the 2018 World Cup by France. Cavani didn’t play.

And it’s been kind of cold. And overcast: dreary.

But my new bath brush arrived from China!  It’s been almost three months since it was shipped.

body scrub brush

It’s also almost exactly three years from the first replacement. This time I paid $5.29 instead of $4.02. Before this order, I paid the same for two brushes, but mistakenly sent them to our official U.S. address. So now my my sister-in-law has two bath brushes.

body scrub brush

The condition of the old one is surprisingly similar to the last time. Interesting that the earlier one arrived in three weeks instead of three months, and the second arrived within days of three years after the first.

That numbers thing again?


Fake Croc Mods

This is a pair of fake Crocs my wife bought at Géant for a few bucks. They turned out to be just a half size too small for comfort.

fake Crocs

And she prefers open-toed shoes for summer.

modified fake Crocs

All it took was a few minutes with a razor blade and voilà!

Do they sell razor blades in Uruguay? I have no idea. I almost didn’t bring these from the United States. I’ll explain.

When we flew to New York in 2012 for my niece’s wedding in Connecticut, we had offered to bring an absurd amount of stuff back to Uruguay for people.* My last-minute packing operation occupied a significant part of my sister’s living room floor. I kept reassigning goods to different suitcases. It took a while, but finally everything fit.

But just before we headed out the door for the airport, I suddenly realized I needed one more item reassignment…

…because going through airport security with two box cutters and 100 razor blades in my carry-on bag didn’t seem like something that was going to end well.


*no more!

From asado to barbecue to…

I explained asado some time ago, the painfully slow way (from a northern point of view) of cooking meat over glowing coals. Fine when you have a group and plenty of time. When the objective is to cook something outside in hot weather, a gas barbecue grill is not perfect, but tremendously more efficient.

But the prices here are double you’d expect to pay in North America, and quality poorer, so it’s hard to justify buying one new.

You might recall we bought a used one and fixed it up.

altered BBQ grill, Uruguay

The other night, I went to fire it up, and the left burner lit up and immediately went out, as if the valve had broken. The right side hissed as if gas was coming through, but wouldn’t light.  So, on to the next alternative: a single gas burner we haven’t used in years, and our largest skillet, which doesn’t have a lid (hence the pizza pan).

I might try taking off the valve and looking at it, but given the grill’s age can’t count on replacement parts. More likely the gas burner will end up inside, perhaps with a second burner. One of those projects one has to be in the right frame of mind for; hands get filthy.


It’s back to looking like a plain old barbecue grill,

but under the hood it’s become a gas stove. Which means less heat inside the house!

Yes, those are bricks holding up the rear legs.


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—.