latest from puerto viejo

i rode over to the store earlier in a light rain and returned with four big bags of groceries hanging off the handlebars. i made it back here without bruising any of the fruit, but i forgot coffee filters and something else that i remembered when i walked in the house but have forgotten again. i rinsed off and reused a filter and sat down with a cup of organic cocoa and coffee with a little sugar to read through my RSS feeds. i am sitting on my inflatable mattress in the house listening to NPR’s marketplace podcast, eating a bowl of papaya, banana, watermelon, mango, granola and yogurt.
if the weather is true to form, in an hour or so the rain will let up, the sun will break through the clouds, and i will hop on the bike and roll out the main road stirring up large neon blue morpho butterflies as i ride by. a five minute cruise under the almond trees along the beach will bring me over to rocking j’s, where i’ll find a spot to flip open the laptop and do some interneting for a few hours. i have no plans for tonight. last night was the weekly discussion group i attend at echo books. the topics were edward bernays (my presentation), scientology, and the history of chocolate. tomorrow night our band plays at cafe rio negro, then friday at e’s restaurante at rocking j’s. having two regular weekly gigs and many one-offs have gotten my chops back in shape, and rekindled my love of playing for people. we are playing covers at this point but i now have incentive to write some songs. this is an  area with a unique blend of cultures and musical styles, and i am letting them all sink in as i reinvent my writing.
i fly back to the US in a little less than two weeks. i’ll be there bouncing between LA and ojai for a couple of weeks and then i am coming back here. that’s the latest from costa rica.

iran threatens costa rican bookies?

 this article is fairly interesting. i *think* i know what it is trying to say, just not sure if i believe that anyone would actually *print* what i think it is saying. i better read it again. here is the lead:

 Costa Rica Fears Iran’s Interest in Region: Bookies Watch Closely

Iran’s interest in Latin America is getting a little too close to home, and we are not necessarily talking about the United States.  The peaceful military-free Central American nation of Costa Rica finds itself surrounded by leftist sympathizers of Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  Costa Rica has the largest concentration of online gambling operators than any other nation. 

in other news today, it seems like the good ol’ USA, not iran, is having the most success squeezing the online gambling business here, by paying the costa rican government to block their connections to america:

 According to The Tico Times, the United States and Costa Rica have agreed a compensation package after The White House breached of World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations involving online gambling.

The Costa Rican daily newspaper stated that the trade dispute began when the US enacted laws designed to target online gambling, forcing the Central American nation to take the giant from the north to arbitration before the WTO. Under a WTO agreement on services, any country blocking access to one of a range of markets must provide compensation to the affected countries.

As compensation for cutting off Costa Rican access to online gambling customers in America, the US has agreed to offer greater access to other service markets including research and development, storage, technical testing and analysis. This is almost identical to the deal previously worked out between the US and Canada, Japan and the European Union over the same issue.

stolen shoe

i usually leave my two pairs of “high performance sandals” (or at least that is what i imagine someone in marketing might call these) sitting out on the back porch. one morning i opened the door and discovered that the right shoe from both pairs had gone missing. i found one of them in the front yard an hour later, but the other was missing for about a week and a half or maybe two. yet another lesson on patience. just as i was starting to wonder when i should give up and toss out the orphaned lefty, one of the neighbors returned its match. the dogs here like to play with shoes.

completely lazy sunday

i haven’t really been posting much lately i guess, so what better way to ease back into it than a quick blast remarking on how lazy of a day this has been. there are a couple of backpackers talking up the benefits of wordpress behind me. i learned the chords to girl from ipanema on the guitar today.

yeah, i guess that is about it. i have mostly been posting to twitter and the link blog, although i have been thinking about that lately, that i am posting all my updates to outside services now, which seems like something i should evaluate. and by that, i mean start posting things to here more often and to other places less often.