Friday, August 30, 2013

Where Does The Ripster Go?

I've always wondered where Rip goes and what he does during the day. All the other cats hang out under the ferns or in pots or on chairs but Rip is always MIA. The other day I went out to water my lettuce and caught him taking a break from "practice." Jackie I guess is the coach. He apparently is training for some kind of athletic event involving a trampoline and balance beam. First he has to stretch a bit before he approaches the beam. Then the mount, the modern dance routine and finally the dismount (which he sticks perfectly). But then there is ANOTHER dismount where he literally takes a bounce off the 6 foot high covering and onto the grass below! He is amazing!

Chicken on the other hand prefers to cat nap on the couch pillows. No coach required!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Blogging About the Blog Book

For some bizarre reason either our computer or the blogger site has made it impossible to make posts. Sometimes the cursor just doesn't show up or images won't load and for a long time now all the text will do is be centered unless extreme measures are taken to block it and reformat after things are written. With that in mind I figured if something more happens we could lose ALL the years of adventures that we have blogged about. It would be be near impossible to try to even REMEMBER all the bizarre shit that has happened here but to recreate it? Not happening. I decided to publish a blog book. Blurb has a blog "slurp" book you can make and I tried that first and it just kept telling me it was too big. It told me I had too many photos and I just didn't want to sit and count photos to try to get to the limit they set and then have 4 or 5 volumes to get the thing printed. I waited for HOURS (due to their crappy software and slow internet connection) only to get a message that they couldn't download the blog. I stumbled upon www.blog2print and on a whim (not thinking it would work) I pressed the suck it/slurp it/make a book button and it got downloaded in a few minutes and I had a sample to look at.  Earlier, before trying out Blurb I had painstakingly gone through the blog for hours to try to catch spelling errors (when we started I didn't realize spell check was there) and to make headings consistent. I figured there would be errors in formatting and spelling and spacing but there always will be. I didn't spend time going through it AGAIN and figured it would be good enough! So here it is! 430 pages going from our arrival to the end of 2010!

I picked the "conserve space" option to cram it into as few pages as possible and I think it looks great! There are some errors, like I said, but they are minimal and not substantive. I think the quality and look of the thing is pleasing and am amazed I have written so much stuff. When I read it I realize that Jeff and I do quite a lot of things even though I don't think life is ever interesting enough. I know there is more to experience here but the frustration with experiencing it has made it become a "not worth the effort" thing just like diving became in Washington. When the time and frustration spent TRYING to do something outweighs actually doing something it is time to find something else to do. Here's a look at the middle of the volume-of-our-Puerto Rico-lives. I highly recommend making a blog book if you have bothered to makes a nice, official way to preserve those experiences!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Beauty and the Beasts

We have spent many hours underwater swimming out from this doorway/tree in Aguadilla. We call it the Courthouse Wall because it extends down in front of the area where the old courthouse used to be. We used to dive further south but then figured out we could get to the wall faster from this spot. We have seen a manatee out here (briefly) and tarpon and all the usual players. The reef is patchy close in but there is a nice wall that goes to around 60 feet or so. Beautiful! This is the view from further down where we originally used to go in. There is a nice little sand beach for those days when nobody else is out. You can see the reef patches and different shades of blue.

Now for the beasts. I am not a fan of meat in general, never was, and most definitely am not and probably never will be after living here. I can eat a FRESH fish. I will eat chicken if I am starving or someone makes it and I don't want to be rude. Steak I will not do. Churassco or other beef things I won't touch and whatever these little cubes are I want nothing to do with.

I don't want to eat these cubes either and for the same $5 I can get a giant head of cauliflower to roast and pig out on something free of antibiotics, cholesterol and what ever else is in this body part.

I think these are feet (but they look like noses) and I have smelled soup being made out of them. Not for me. I have also seen the carnage of gristle and fat left behind on the plate.

I watch the cooking channel and have seen a nice looking salad adorned with "crispy pig ears." I don't care what chef came up with that one - I don't want it. I have even seen ears not pre-cut complete with their tatoo ear numbers (as if it weren't unappealing already). For the same price I can get a couple cans of beans and make a nice bean salad. I hear the argument that "not everyone can afford good quality meat" and to that I say "eat something other than meat!"

This little kitty is both beauty and beast...either thrown out of a car near our property or born in the jungle.  Somehow it managed to crawl up to our property hungry. It had no idea how lucky it was. This little kitty has a new home and is getting spayed tomorrow. Then come the rounds of shots. It even has a kitty companion already in its house. This animal story repeats itself in a never ending loop except for the "happy ending." Most "beasts" end up smashed, diseased and starving. We do what we can.