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Posts posted by Epicatt2

  1. TC,


    Just curious . . . For someone who decided to pay CAJA + Pension for a minimum of 15 years & then begins to collect the resultant CR pension, what would that person then expect to collect on a monthly basis?


    I am assuming that they would be paying a minimal amount monthly over that 15 years based upon a minimum US$1K per month expat's SSA pension income.




    Paul M.


  2. Check to se whether your version of Skype is out of date or if your browser is not the current version. How about the router you are using; it could contribute to some problems if it's an older one or is wearing out.


    If that's not the problem then it could likely be ICE or their servers causing problems.


    Also there was work done recently on the undersea cable between Ft. Lauderdale and Central America (CR, Panamá, etc.), after which I started to occasionally have some Skype anomalies when I called two people in CR using Skype. Previously I had never had problems calling them but now, after the work on that undersea cable, I get disconnections, noises or incompleted calls. But it is intermittent. So sometimes a call to one of them will be clear aa a bell and other times it will be staticky or may have odd noises on the line –or suddenly in the middle of a bell-clear call, one of us can no longer hear the other. (Actually one can talk and be heard and the other can type his replies!)


    That's my overall assessment of the problem. (I do know one of the people whose calls I have problems with told me that his problem is due to his landlord's router so they're getting a new one.)


    I hope some of this proves helpful. Maybe Mark, our technology maven will chime in here . . .


    OK — HTH


    Paul M.


  3. STW & Eleanor,


    I'm with both of you in not wanting to be tied 24/7 to a cellphone or other electronic communications device. I do have a 'land-line' phone at home and use it accordingly.


    I was a holdout against having a cell phone for a long time, but being in Costa Rica finally turned the tables on that. I found that in CR a cellphone made for a useful tool for alerting people to the fact I was stuck in traffic and would be late arriving somewhere; or that I was not able to find the place -like a restaurant- where I was to meet someone; and useful also to be able to call a taxi to come pick me up after finishing shopping somewhere instead of always relying on a clerk, etc., where I had been shopping to call a taxi to come for me. Or of course for use in an emergency.


    I carry the cellphone with me in Florida when I go off somewhere in my car in case of an accident but I never have it turned on -either in the car with me or at home. In fact I prolly could get along without it, and only have it as a sort of an insurance policy, useful for example to summon help in case my car should break down somewhere in the middle of nowhere.


    So while I seldom use mine in Florida, it's comfortable to have. I do use it lots more when I'm in CR.




    Paul M.


  4. Hey Colin, sorry 'bout that.


    So, to answer your QQs, yes you must add minutes to the chip at least once a month . . . UNTIL you have bought cumulatively $100.00-woorth of minutes. Once you reach that plateau, called the 'Gold Rewards' level, your minutes last for one year thereafter. And after you've reached that 'Gold Rewards' plateau then all subsequent recharge purchases will last for one year from the date of the recharge which I think resets the remaining minutes forward, too, thru to the coming year's expiration.


    FWIW, $10.00 is the minimum recharge you can buy and, BTW, T-Mobile does seem to charge sales tax for the state you're in. And keep in mind that the more minutes you recharge in one recharge then the cheaper the per-minute rate for calls becomes. And the recharge purchase amount resets the remaining minutes' per-minute rate, too. (Oh, well.)



    Paul M.


  5. I think you have to set the Kolbi roaming thing ahead of time. But I would have to re-read the page to be sure.


    And Paul, I have met tourists here who have T-Mobile and there is an international roaming option. No, you can't just turn on your phone and voila -- you have to set it up ahead of time.



    That's OK by me Eleanor. I just switch between chips depending on which country I am in at the moment. Takes thirty seconds at most to make the change. Works for me, anyway.

    And since I don't have anyone in either country with whom I cannot connect to using Skype, what with now being the cheapo person I've become since retiring, then I'm covered both ways.

    Anyway the two-cent Skype call from CR to a US phone or the 6.4-cent call from the US to CR landlines is cheaper than the ten-cent (or more) per minutes call T-Mobile charges me here and I'm sure it would bessignificantly more expenisve were I calling US to CR.


    Paul M.


  6. Hi Eleanor,


    As I wrote in my post above, I bought the T-Mobile pre-paid sim card in a shopping mall in Tampa at a T-Mobile store. I had the phone already (bought in CR) and they just installed the chip in it. Their chip was/is the same size as a Kölbi chip.


    Sorry but T-Mobile does NOT have service from inside Costa Rica; there is no T-Mobile signal in the GAM that I can access with their chip in my Nokia cell phone, trust me, I've tried. What you are referring to is calling to CR from the US using a T-Moble chip. That is doable but expensive. For doing that it's back to using Skype for me.


    While ICE may have an international chip, I'm not disputing that... I was reporting the fact that my Kölbi chip gets no signal when I bring my Nokia back to the US.



    Paul M.


  7. Colin,


    I use T-Mobile while in Florida. It's prepaid minutes and the chips work in my CR-bought Nokia cell phone. When first setting my cellphone up I bought a sim chip and about an hour's-worth of minutes for US$20.00. ($10 for the chip and $10 for the minutes.) That was in a T-Mobile store in a local shopping mall in Tampa.


    T-Mobile seems to offer reasonably good coverage and the cost isn't outrageous. I have had a good experience with them so far. The more minutes you rechage with (for any one-time purchase), the cheaper their per-minute rate is. You do have to stay on top of when your minutes expire with them as there is only a two-day grace period after the expiration date to revive any remaining minutes with a recharge. Beyond the two days though, no dice, alas.


    T-Mobile has no service in CR, BTW, just as Kölbi has no service in the US.



    Paul M.


  8. MR. MODERATOR, I would request you keep this thread open for the benefit of those working through the maze of ACA, a place where valuable information can be exchanged. I will recuse myself from this Thread.




    This topic has been open since October 11th, one week now. Members who wished to join the thread did so and there has been an entire week to comment if they wanted to.


    There is still until midnight tonight for Forum Members to add anything on-topic that they would like to, so it will remain open until then.


    PM - Moderator


  9. To Dave and Ron . . .




    If you wish to continue the personal debate that this has become, i.e., off-topic from the thread topic, and which has turned a little bit snippy, I'm suggesting that you exchange emails with one another (via PM) and that you take the rest of your discussion off-list and continue it there privately. Any subsequent posts of your aformentioned private, off-topic discussion will be summarily removed, so please continue the discussion, but kindly do so privately.


    Since this Obamacare Debate topic as of now seems essentially to have run it's course it will be closed Friday night at midnight. That should allow ample time for any other Forums Members who wish to add information or comment on-topic to the thread.


    Thank You.


    Paul M.

    Forums Moderator


  10. The owner of the brand planted vines in long straight rows, and in a lousy grape growing region hence cheaper land.


    The grapes are picked mechanically and along with them go the bugs, bits of stems and other not nice things.


    I used to get some once in a while but now I stick to $7 (in the states) Jacob's Creek from Australia. With a screw cap. Good stuff at the price point.


    Here's a link about the 2 buck Chuck, and below is an excerpt. http://www.snopes.com/business/market/shawwine.asp


    A few things to keep in mind about his vineyards: one is that they are located in what is known as the Central Valley in the California wine world which is notoriously flat and quite hot producing massive yields of overripe grapes. The other thing is that Fred Franzia is no dummy — he planted those vineyards in such a way as the rows run north-south, giving the vines maximum sun exposure and he made the rows as long as he possibly could, minimizing the number of turns his tractors would need to make. And third, these aren't hand-picked vineyards ... they are all machine harvested. And that means these large tractors with huge claws go down the rows of vineyards grabbing the grapes and depositing them in its huge receptacle. And it not only grabs ripe grapes, but unripe and down right rotten ones as well and throws them all together. Add to that leaves, stems and any rodents, birds, or insects that may have made those vines their home — they all get thrown into the bin as well. And guess what? You think there's going to be any sorting when that truck arrives at the winery (or should I say processing facility)? Nope. Everything, and I do mean everything (including all those unripe grapes, rotten grapes, leaves, stems, birds, rodents, and insects) gets tossed into the crusher and transferred to large tanks to ferment. So think about all the animal blood and parts that may have made their way into your wine next time you crack open that bottle of Two Buck Chuck! Hardly even seems worth the $2 does it?


    I'd suggest reading all of the copy at the Sopes.com link that FredS provided.


    Snopes.com offers some clarification for both the text and the green highlighted text (ithat's quoted above in this post) both of which contan some misleading information at that llnked page on their site, which may be useful to read.


    Just FWIW . . .


    Paul M.


  11. Loved your post, Gayle.


    I recall a similar 'test' some years ago on a TV program. They queried diners at a restaurant about several 'brands' of bottled water. They made up different brand names to label the bottles with. Some of those names sounded quite elegant and posh. But then they filled all the bottles out back of the restaurant using a garden hose hooked to the outside faucet.


    And in this instance, too, there were responses not surprisingly too different from what you reported above: The fancier sounding names for the bottled water were reported to taste better to the diners in the 'survey' than the plainer sounding names, despite it all being just tap water.


    (sip sip sip)


    Paul M.


  12. There's a bunch of Yahoo Groups for Panamá. I do not visit them too often these days

    but once in a while I find someithing interesting on one or the other of them. Here's the

    four of 'em that I still visit occasionally:


















    [This last one has been around quite a looong time & it was one of the first ones about

    Panamá on Yahoo. I used to follow it when I was trying to decide betweeen CR and

    Panamá for my retirement/residency. It has been through at least several owners

    during its existence but still seems a good resource if you don't mind wading thru

    all the annoying piggybacking that the owner(s) seem oblivious to and permit.]




    Hope some of the above is useful for you, Ron.


    Paul M.


  13. I enjoyed reading the revista of your return to NC, Lucy.


    Not unlike Tiffany, I wasn't much surprised at the comments you made and about what in particular you missed from Cr and liked and disliked about NC.


    I find it especially telling your coment about the lack of taste of food here in the US grocery stores. Apples, yes indeed, SHOULD taste good! (I've reently bought bags of apples here in Florida at my neighborhood Publix and out of two different varieties ('Red Delicious' and 'Macintosh') only about one out of three apples was noticeably tasty. The other were OK and on occaion one would be on the insipid side, flavorwise. And let's not even talk about the bananas here. Tico bananas blow 'right outta da wattah' flavorwise the awful bananas that we get here in Floriida which are only 2/3rds ripened so they'll survive the sea voyage here without damage.


    But I'm glad to read that you're both happy to be here in the US and that you have already found a nice job.


    Your descriptions of what you miss in CR only increase my desire to return to tiquicia as soon as i am able.


    Thanx for the report!




    Paul M.




    Hola Gayle,


    I too found it somewhat amusing, maybe even a bit ironic to see the word used with this discussion. Glad you mentioned it.


    Just FWIW, 'Ojalá' is not used only as a word by itself as illustrated above by Induna. It is also used in sentences, q.v.


    Ojalá que puedas aprender como usar 'ojalá' con el modo sujunctivo. Hay dos tiempos de verbos que encomtramos usados

    con 'ojalá': presente de subjunctivo y imperfecto de subjunctivo.


    Aquí se provee explicación para cual tiempo se usa y cuando:




    Buena suerte . . .


    Paul M.


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