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January 2011

Written By: Gary on January 30, 2011 One Comment

Okay, so maybe it’s not a super big secret, but it’s a really nice view; two views actually. When walking back down the hill from the upper waterfalls you walk right past it (see the end for specific details on finding it).

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Looking south-west down the coast.

Before turning right to get the above view, you could have continued straight and to the left a little (through the brush) and you can see north-east up the coast. From the spot you’re at, you won’t even see Montezuma, you’ll be looking right over it.

Click for full screen or go watch the video on YouTube in HD.

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So as you come down the big hill, either from the upper waterfalls or from the Mariposario Butterfly Gardens, after you pass the private bridge to the really big house (you can’t miss it), keep your eyes to the right shoulder and about 50 yards (or 50 meters) past the bridge you’ll see the grass on the incline is a little worn (see picture) climb up there and head left.

When you get near the end on the right you’ll see south-west down the coast, towards Cabuya and Cabo Blanco; if you veer towards the left you’ll see north-east. It’s a really nice view in either direction! The north-east view is a little hidden, but just take a minute and you’ll find it.

There used to be fencing there so watch out for barbed wire. And keep in mind, it’s not a public park, so tread carefully…

UPDATE! This isn’t such a secret now and it looks like someone is going to start building (April 2011).

Written By: Gary on January 29, 2011 No Comment

So my* McDonald’s still has the McRib, so I came up here for lunch. Free WiFi and a McRib sandwich, can’t beat that!!

The box isn’t right, but who cares? It’s what’s inside that counts!!!

* In Dearborn (Michigan, USA) on Michigan, between Greenfield and Schaefer Rd.

Written By: Gary on January 21, 2011 No Comment

Trees is (are?) the challenge for today’s Photo Friday. I actually took more than a few photos of trees than usual so here’s a few of them.

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This was a tree at the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve.

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Up the beach from Montezuma, north-east about an hour(?).
I thought the dead(?) tree looked interesting extended above the forest.

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From above Montezuma Falls, looking down at the pool at the base of the falls.

Just some photos for your viewing pleasure, click for a larger view (although the larger tall ones aren’t that much bigger) with a little more descriptive text. Trying to figure how to best post photos for viewing…

Written By: Gary on January 20, 2011 No Comment

So one of my essentials for travel is an Immersion Heater, I stick it in a glass with some water and in a few minutes I’ve got hot water. It’ll boil water if you want, there’s no moving parts and it’s really easy to use. I think it’s just for water, some bad reviews talk about other liquids, but I’ve never tried it with anything but water; I’ve never considered anything but water.

You can use it for heating up water for tea or coffee or whatever. NORPRO 559 Immersion Heater for Warming Liquids NorproI initially got it for heating up water for my Netty Pot, sometimes the hot water when traveling isn’t warm enough (or I don’t want to use tap water if it’s somewhere I wouldn’t drink the water).

But since I’ve got it with me, sometimes I’ll use it for heating up some instant soup or Ramen-in-a-cup for a snack when traveling. I’m trying to think of what else you can just add boiled water to: instant oatmeal(?), instant soups + noodles, instant potatoes (but that sounds boring), Mac and Cheese (I think Kraft makes a just add hot water?) and if you had a fridge to store them, you could probably boil an egg.

You’ve got to remember to unplug it before you remove it from the cup of water or it’ll burn out (or something) and watch it when you’re using it because if it boils all the water away it’ll stop working permanently. The one I’ve got has lasted a long time but I’ve let it boil down pretty far before when I’ve forgotten about it; I actually travel with a spare, just in case.

Written By: Gary on January 17, 2011 3 Comments

This week’s question is What do you use for your alarm clock – an actual alarm clock or your phone (or maybe the sun, your kids, your pet, other)?

Sleep is a complicated issue for me, I like a fan or a white noise machine (fortunately there’s a White Noise app* for that) to help me sleep. whitenoise-app.pngGenerally I sleep with a fan on, that automatically turns itself off about 10 minutes before the alarm clock; if I got enough sleep, sometimes that’s enough to wake me up. Then a few minutes later a bright “natural” light turns itself on. Then the alarms start going off, the alarm clock (with the traffic report), then the phone alarm, then the alarm clock CD player (currently an upbeat Avril song is playing), then the phone again. And my friend Mark will call sometimes to make sure I’m up…

There is (generally) a new Friday Question every Friday.

* The White Noise iPhone app I mentioned is great, it’s got lots of sounds (I like the white noise) and timers (countdown, alarms, etc.). It’s quite possibly the best $2 I’ve spent in the app store.

Written By: Gary on January 17, 2011 No Comment

Before I went down to Costa Rica last month I knew they eclipse was going to happen and I knew the Moon was going to be full. But I forgot all about the fact that the do some horse rides down the beach in the moonlight; I knew that from the last trip and forgot all about it. While I don’t really like horses (they’re big, scary and I don’t know how to turn them off or reboot them), down the beach during the full moon sounds pretty cool.

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This was the full moon lighting up the beach,
it’s really hard to show how bright it really was.

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It’s completely night out, but it was just so bright.

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This one came out a little brighter but it’s a little washed out.

They might have come out better if I’d had a tripod. I think it was brighter the next night (less clouds?) but my pocket camera just doesn’t appropriately show how it really looked. I don’t recall even thinking it was really bright this night, I was actually just scoping out the sky to see if the eclipse would be viewable.

And now I see someone is doing Full Moon Moon-Rise Yoga on Montezuma Beach, how cool would that be?!?

Written By: Gary on January 16, 2011 4 Comments

Donate a $1 at Wendy’s and get a free Frosty Jr. with every purchase you make at Wendy’s for the rest of the year! Okay, so I guess this really isn’t free, but it’s such an awesome deal!

wendys-free-frosty-IMG_2179.jpgThey did this last year (but didn’t start until April) and it was the best deal ever! They give you the tag for your keychain and you’re good to go! Buy a double-stack burger for 99 cents and get a free Junior frosty (what a deal!).

Be sure to getyour keychain tag now, because once they’re gone, you can’t get them any more. I think they should charge $5.00 for them. The donated money goes to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

This is only at Michigan Wendy’s as far as I know (and this tag says only in Michigan). If your state offers a similar program, please leave a comment and let me know..

Written By: Gary on January 11, 2011 No Comment

What do I plan to do this year? I put together this list a few weeks ago and I’ve been tweaking it (and probably will a little more). I’ve blogged a whole lot more. I’ve exercised almost every day some mornings before work (and I’m not a morning person); in the winter that would be my weight bench or hiking / climbing somewhere warm, in the summer bicycling and rollerblading.

So, in no particular order:

  • Take more everyday pictures and actually post them somewhere.
  • Be more positive (I’ve been a bit down in the dumps and need to fix it).
  • Neaten my house. (It’s clean but I just shift the clutter around to clean under it).
  • Do my taxes. (I never do them on time and they always owe me)
  • Exercise more.
  • Take a community education class or two (the city and the local college offers them).
  • Make new additional friends.
  • Blog more.
  • Surround myself with more positive things and people.
  • Make a new 101 in 1001 list. I’ve done this before*, but I haven’t gotten around to a new one (it’s better than resolutions).
  • Migrate this site to a different host (probably Site5).

Other than the migrating this site (which will be a project) most of these are things that I hope to continue past this year.

* And when I say done, I mean started the process. I only got 54 of my 101 things accomplished, but that’s better than most people do on their resolutions, right? Actually, looking at the list I think I’ve done another half-dozen since that time-line expired.

Written By: Gary on January 5, 2011 No Comment

So I picked up a disposable waterproof Kodak camera before my trip to Costa Rica. I’ve been tempted to get a waterproof camera but couldn’t justify the cost.

The weird part was getting it developed. It’s been years since I got film developed. I can’t even remember the last time. When I stood at the counter at Walgreens it was weird, I knew I wanted it on CD but did I want prints? It seemed so foreign to want prints of the photos I hadn’t even seen yet…

But in the end I ordered a set of the prints. And they weren’t as interesting as I’d hoped. It’s hard to stell that the shots I took from the water are six feet deep, they could be ankle deep. And the waves that are crashing down at me, you can barely tell.

The resolution was pretty disappointing at 1545 × 1024 they weren’t very detailed, even for 800 ASA (IMHO). I’m not saying the pictures are bad, they just weren’t any better (visually) than many that I took from shore…

Here’s a few for your viewing pleasure :)

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Me at the upper falls (actually the upper-upper-falls about 15-20 feet high).

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Sunset from way up the coast from Montezuma.

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This a cRaZy one of me jumping in the water.
I’m at the lower falls, it’s probably only about 20 feet (15?).
It looks like I’m hurtling to my doom.

I think the above shot of me jumping is from the same spot as this video of me jumping off the rock. Kodak Zoom ISO 800 Speed, 27 Exposure Single Use Camera KodakSo the camera was $10 (for 27 shots) and I think it was $12 for developing (developing, negatives, and one set of photos) so $22 for an experiment; I’ve certainly spent more for something I’ve never used again. I’m not saying the camera was disappointing in itself, although the pictures were only 1545 × 1024 pixels (but that just might be the Walgreens scanner), I just hoped taking the pictures from different angles in the water would look much more interesting. I’d try it again, but I think I’ll try again with this Snap Sights Waterproof Underwater Reusable Camera with Flash, especially if I was to go snorkeling.

Written By: Gary on January 5, 2011 No Comment

So they were talking about the last roll of Kodachrome being developed last week. But what is Kodachrome? Kodachrome is non-negative film; that is the colors are correct, as in: slides and film.

I shot a lot of slides on a trip to Alaska a (long) while back, I never really got into slides though. I keep meaning to send to send my slides in to get them scanned, I think I have some great ones, but I digress…

On 14 July 2010 it was announced that the last produced roll of Kodachrome was developed by Dwayne’s for photographer Steve McCurry on assignment for National Geographic. Kodachrome_box-from-wikipedia.JPGI remember hearing about this a few months ago, this is that the last roll manufactured was developed (there were still earlier manufactured rolls that weren’t developed).

On 30 December 2010, Dwaynes Photo in Parsons, Kansas, officially ended their Kodachrome processing, effectively ending Kodachromes 75-year long career. The last roll developed was from the owners of the photo business.

Keep in mind, Kodak stopped making the film in June of 2009, but I think they still made the developing chemicals for a while longer. And while they were still developing in December of 2010, the last rolls made had a November 2010 expiration date.

Some of the info (and the photo) is from the Kodachrome entry in Wikipedia.

Written By: Gary on January 3, 2011 No Comment

It seems about every two months that Wendy’s resets their on-line coupons (this batch is good until Feb. 20, 2011). It’s a $1 off combos, $1.99 kid meals and a few 2-for-1 deals (singles, chicken and twisted Frostys). There appears to be no printing limit, I just printed a stack and stuck them in the car. wendys-logo.pngI go 2+ times a week so this is a no brainer for me. I’ll have $14-$20 extra in my pocket by the time March rolls around.

And the address hould be easy to remember it’s http://MichiganWendys.com/

Yes, the coupons specifically say they’re only good for Michigan.

Written By: Gary on January 2, 2011 5 Comments

It was four years ago today that I was in Jaco with Mark and wanted to check out the Nicoya Peninsula. We heard the easiest way to get there was to take a taxi boat from the beach North of Jaco to a little town called Montezuma.

I think we were there about ten minutes and “I said can we stay another day?” and by the end of the evening asked if “we could spend another day” on top of that one…

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I’ve been back at least six more times and I think I love it more every time. I’ve talked about Montezuma many times (the first post with probably be this one, so scroll down) and plan to talk and visit it many more.

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