A year ago, I brought back a cheap pair of boots from the United States.

chewed boots

The puppy found them great fun to chew on. The tongue on the right is mostly destroyed, and the backs of both have suffered as well. That’s unfortunate, but not sad.

In general, I can’t find shoes my size here, and when I do, they’re anything but cheap. Again, unfortunate, but not sad.

In addition to the structure of the shoes, Mocha apparently finds the laces to have a lovely mouthfeel. I’ve had to tie them together and figure new lacing patterns. That’s annoying (and challenging) but not sad.

Yesterday we were gone to Montevideo for many hours, and Mocha got to them again. This time the laces were severed in a way that made them unusable. Very annoying. But still not sad.

Only then, after months of putting up with this, did it occur to me to simply buy new laces.

I find that quite sad. Maybe I’ve been in Uruguay too long?



Had to chuckle…

…when I saw this in the road.

string in street

Because I knew exactly what it was for.

string in street

Do you? Scroll down for the answer….


































bicycle seat with string

In case you’re still wondering, that’s how I store what I tie around my right ankle when bicycling in long pants, to keep them out of the chain.

I don’t think I ever documented my USD 140 bike. It started falling apart as soon as it got out of the shop. It’s gone from 18 speeds to one, long since lost headlight and chain guard. Between that and the 26″ wheels – too big for most Uruguayans to ride comfortably – I never worry locking it up when I ride into town. And if someone does want to steal it, what can I say? For under USD 16 per year, it’s been a good investment.


Home is where you hang your shoes

shoes on coat rack

Especially if you have a puppy, not quite one year old, who will happily tear into Vasque hiking boots that you spent an hour getting fitted for in Asheville, North Carolina 15 years ago, and cost USD 150. I bought those at the end of few years of hiking and camping with kids, after realizing how idiotic I had been the first day of a five-day hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail, with backpack – racing a 15 year old boy, wearing cheap-ass Walmart-purchased hiking boots and very nearly twisting my ankle. I upgraded to the Vasques – and, oh yeah,  then essentiality stopped hiking.

Turns out their construction is not essentially different – in terms of puppy teeth – to the last pair of middle-aged-man ankle-length “hikers” I bought at JC Penney last year for what – USD 30? Or Walmart? Alas, that was in Murka: nothing like that exists here: size 12 feet find little welcome. So they hang out of range of puppy teeth.

The Hiking Boot Thing is similar my Mountain Bike Thing: going “endo” over the handlebars of my mountain bike, tearing up and bloodying my shirt and cracking my helmet, riding down a root-addled trail in North Carolina, faster than I would otherwise, trying to keep up with two 13 year olds, one my adopted son. They were considerably shorter than me, so of course had a much lower center of gravity, as our bikes were more or less the same length,

Ah, the adopted son: he was brilliant at destroying things, and soon needed a new bike. Shopping, I was appalled at prices. Again, this is fifteen years ago, but look at this – who would pay USD 1,200 for a mountain bike? The clerk explained that Gary Fisher was a couple inches taller than me, and designed bikes with “cockpits” – distance from seat to handlebars – to effectively lower the relative height overall. In other words, make it harder to go “endo.”

He offered that I could ride it around the parking lot, and after “busting” a curb or two, I knew who would pay $1,200 for a mountain bike. Me.

And then, of course, we moved to Spokane. I rode a couple trails. We moved to Mexico. Eventually I left it with my several-years Myspace friend Hektor Dangus to sell in Austin, Texas.

And the fake Crocs? Well, yeah, they are fake Crocs – but left at floor level, simply chew toys.