Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   overlooking the center of Montezuma
Monday, February 27 2023

the northwesternmost casita at Toucan Hill, Montezuma, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

Yesterday as I walked back to Toucan Hill from Casa Frangipani, I realized I'd developed a patch of sore skin on my right thigh where it was rubbing against my testicles. Fortunately, the other day I'd found a tube of athlete's foot ointment (bought at the Super La Hacienda in Santa Teresa four years ago) and this worked miracle on my condition as I slept overnight, meaning I no longer had to walk with my feet three feet apart in order to walk comfortably. (This malady doesn't happen to me often, but I've had a really bad a few times, particularly once when I was about eighteen years old and had taken the day off from school to hang out in Staunton, Virginia, basing my hookie-playing operation from my mother's classroom at Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. This time my crotch fungus problem was probably brought on by too much pool-related moisture.)

This was our last morning at Toucan Hill, and I made a heroic effort to consume (or give to the wild animals) much of the food we had in the refrigerator and on the counters. I used the last of the tostadas and increasingly-stale corn chips to make open-face taco sandwiches containing refried beans, lettuce, and vegan fish sticks.
When Gretchen was done with the last of her DuoLingo and I'd gotten to a stopping place in what proved to be a frustrating day in the remote workplace, we started packing our bags in ernest, deciding ultimately to leave a lot of kitchen supplies at the casita, because our next temporary residence would be a hotel room. This meant leaving behind things like a bottle of avocado oil, a large container of salt, and a half-eaten pint of vegan icecream that Gretchen had found inedible but that I'd rather liked. (Though an experiment last evening in which I added vodka to it in an attempt to produce a white russian had yielded unsatisfactory results.)
When we were all done packing up, we hiked down the switchbacks into Montezua and went directly to Hotel El Jardin, which is on the steep slope right above the first interesection in the town. Gretchen had booked us four nights at El Jardin, but due to the limitations of the small hotel, we'd be staying in three different rooms over those four days. Initially Gretchen seemed rather upset about this (judging from what I could make out of the Spanish she and the clerk were exchanging). But then she seemed to accept that this was a reality she couldn't alter to her liking. Meawhile I got a cup of coffee out of a big hot coffee urn. It was pretty good, probably because it was cut with just a little sugar.
It was only about noon and our room wasn't ready yet, so we left our bags at the front desk and hung out by the pool. It was the best pool we'd yet seen in Costa Rica, featuring two different levels and a connecting waterfall. I, of course, still had to work, and I was growing increasingly frustrated with some DevExpress components I was trying to install. I'd go to install some earlier version I needed, but it would never end up actually installing. Instead the installer for that earlier version would try to delight me by telling me it was "upgrading." But upgrading it something I almost never want to do, since there's a good chance that the things I like will get broken or lost in the process. After trying multiple different installations (if I could even find them on the DevExpress website), I eventually gave up and uninstalled all my existing DevExpress software, possibly breaking something important in the process. Only after I did that was I able to install the version of the components that I needed. It was all very infuriating, having to deal with the smug way that software tries to conceal what exactly it's doing while doing what it can to install its latest version, which in many cases is not what a human being trying to get work done actually wants. For an expensive library of software components, DevExpress sure imposes a lot of unnecessary pain on the people trying to use their products.
At 2:00pm, the guy from the front signalled that our room was ready. By then, Gretchen had gone off to her Spanish class. The room was at the top of the hotel's part of the slope, just below a swath of jungle. It had a nice porch and a view of the ocean, though it lacked some things a remote worker might want, such as a desk chair or a table at a good height for placing a laptop on. As far as I could tell, the only chairs at El Jardin are Adirondack chairs.
Gretchen returned from her class in the late afternoon and we both decided to go try the pools. By that point nearly all the chaise lounges near the pools were occupied, mostly by younger people who didn't speak English. While we were there, a middle-aged woman with a bathing cap showed up and began swimming laps in the bigger of the two pools and a cute white cat with a tabby tail decided to rest in the shade of a chaise lounge.

This evening at around 5:00pm, Gretchen and I went out looking for a restaurant where we could have dinner. Our favorite restaurant, Sano Banano, was open, but most of the other restaurants didn't open until 5:30pm. We wandered somewhat north of the middle of town, where things immediately became much more sleepy. Eventually we found a restaurant that had just opened (and featured magpie jays on its signage) called Bakery Café Montezuma. Gretchen looked over the menu and was immediately delighted, so we took a seat off in the back patio area where I had good view of some sheets of Wonderboard that had yet to be installed. Evidently the café lacked a liquor license (or whatever the equivalent in Costa Rica happens to be) because the strongest drink on its menu only had caffeine as an active ingredient. So I ordered an ice coffee and Gretchen ordered something that contained orange and strawberry juice. As for food, Gretchen ordered a spaghetti with marianara that she didn't much like and I ordered a vegetable Thai curry that was pretty good once I added some salsa picante to it.
Unfortunately, a cloud quickly descended over our meal when Gretchen suggested I take the day off on Thursday so we could go once again to the Montezuma Falls. But I had no interest in going to the Montezuma Falls again, and I especially didn't want to take unscheduled time off from work to go there. I said I didn't want to and that I'd be miserable the whole time if I did go. Bit in a situation like this one, Getrchen doesn't take no for an answer. Evidently she had too much invested in the idea for that. Seeing a huge fight looming, I said that I didn't want to take work off, and it for reasons I felt uncomfortable going into. All of this was true, but that just inflamed things further. Gretchen pointed out (correctly) that I often brag about how little work I do for my employer and that surely someone with a job like mine wouldn't need to give much notice to take time off. But she only sees my job from the outside; she doesn't know what it's like to actually do it. Maybe I do slack off from time to time, but this is all with the understanding that I will be doing more work on the days I expect to be working. And if I'm not working those days, then it's hard for me to deliver the amount of work that I feel is politically necessary for my position.

The mangey capuchin monkey as he or she passed through Toucan Hill this morning.

The view from our casita at Hotel El Jardin looking southeast this evening. Click to enlarge.

The view from our casita at Hotel El Jardin looking mostly east this evening. That big tree in the center of the photo is near or in the garden dining area of Sano Banano. Click to enlarge.

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