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:
   chicken sculpture
Tuesday, February 28 2023

casita #9, Hotel El Jardin, Montezuma, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

A little before 6:00am, Gretchen drew my attention to the glow in the east that preceded the sunrise. It looked enchanting behind that big tree that forms most of downtown Montezuma's skyline. Not long after that, I got up and went down to the pool area with my laptop and proceeded to do some work in an effort to make up for the debacle that was yesterday. After dicking around with the madness that was the DevExpress report designer, I stuck a pin in it and got another ticket off the queue, one that I completed quickly. And then it turned out that the work I'd done had satisfied two different tickets. I notice that none of the other developers seem to like the kind of tickets I like to do, and they languish indefinitely in the backlog until I do them.
At some point (I think it was 7:00am) the front desk of El Jardin opened for the day, giving me access to the coffee supplied in a big urn. Once I had that, I took a recreational 150 milligram dose of pseudoephedrine to help me power through a day that was already going better than expected.

At 8:00am, Gretchen walked down to the beach to join the Islas Tortuga snorkeling tour, which she would be doing without me. She would end up having a great time, seeing humpback whales with babies, spotted dolphins, spotted rays, an amazing shape-shifting octopus, and around 20 distinct species of fish. She would also befriend a young woman from Argentina who turned out to be both a vegan and a Latina pop musician with a monthly Spotify stream total of about six thousand.
After the morning meeting, I walked down to the Montezuma Super to get a few supplies: MSG-containing corn chips, two loose cans of Imperial beer, and a box of "mango nectar" to use as a mixer with vodka. It's a little sweet for my tastes, but it was good enough for mixing myself a drink during group QA.
Today's group QA went kind of badly for the two tickets I'd felt so triumphant about this morning. But the issues with those tickets turned out to be complicated enough that my hasty completion of them didn't end up being a big deal.
Toward the end of QA, I looked up and saw a capuchin monkey on the porch of the casita. So I went outside and saw a bunch of them spread out on the hill between the casita and the jungle. I quickly grabbed a tostada and put it down on the ground for a monkey, one of which quickly grabbed it. I then put down another, but that was it. Tostadas are too damn good to be handing out to monkeys. I noticed in this group of monkeys was a mangy one, but this one looked even mangier than the one I'd been seeing in and around Toucan Hill, suggesting it wasn't the same monkey and that this group might be entirely different.
At 4:00pm, I thought I'd go down to the beach to greet Gretchen when her Zuma tour boat returned from Las Islas Tortugas. A couple boats arrived while I was there (sitting on an ancient eroded lava flow near a group of white egrets), and one was even a Zuma boat. But none offloaded Gretchen. When I returned to the casita (which I'd locked) I found Gretchen sitting on the porch out in front yacking away with her sister-in-law. That sister-in-law had sent a very spartan message asking Gretchen to simply call her, which is always terrifying when there are members of the family who have tried to kill themselves, but it turned out that this was all about getting a job reference and everything was going fairly well.
For dinner, Gretchen and I went down to Sano Banano. I ordered a strawberry margarita and a vegan casado, the former being okay and the latter being excellent. Gretchen ordered a fruity drink and vegan fajitas, and she seemed to like them okay even she had to take a bunch of them to go. Initially Gretchen wanted to talk more about subjects brought up in our fight, so we discussed those in a remarkably civil manner. Gretchen especially wanted to emphasize how different our live is from the one she would ideally have if I was more into "going out." We'd probably be going into New York four times a year to see shows, she said, but she knows she can only drag me to the few she does. I told her I wanted her to be happy and would go to more things, but they'd have to be especially important to her.
Peter, the older Santa-Claus-esque gentleman we'd met at Casa Frangipani the other day, randomly showed up with his wife at Sano Banano while we were there, and Gretchen had to tell him all about the aquatic wildlife she'd seen today at Las Islas Tortugas. Peter had a bunch of photos on his phone that he'd taken with his enormous camera (one that puts mine to shame). These included schools of dolphins and humpback whales. I asked if him if he'd ever pointed his camera at Saturn and he said he hadn't. I then related how even my $200 camera is able to resolve the moons of Jupiter. We left just as Peter and his wife's dinner came out, each an elaborate sculpture of chicken pieces attached to one another, perhaps with toothpicks.

A gray-cowled wood-rail at the pool this morning.

The especially mangy monkey late this afternoon.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next