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David C. Murray

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Everything posted by David C. Murray

  1. My understanding is that Brazil grows primarily the lower quality coffee robusto. You sure?
  2. Dana, you wrote, "David, I don't think elviscaprice was " promote a totally unsubstantiated conspiracy theory", his comments make sense. I think it was newmans comment that doesn't ." . . . and that was my point.
  3. Tut, tut, elviscaprice. Never pass up the opportunity to promote a totally unsubstantiated conspiracy theory.
  4. ". . . only . . colones . . .", eh. How interesting. Coopenae can offer CDs denominated either way. The mysteries of life . . .
  5. There are, however, non-profit financial cooperatives. Coopenae is one and I think Mutual of Alajuela is another. And the agricultural co-ops (also non-profits) afford at least some financial services.
  6. The whole works is Muñoz y Nani, missy. They have the pet shop across the street on the same side, too.
  7. costaricafinca (above) is right about M&N, but there are other sources. Check the local appliance outlets (Gollo, Casa Blanca, Importadora Monge, et al) outside the fancier neighborhoods. I've never shopped for a wood stove, so I can't be more specific, but I know I've seen them in retail store windows in Grecia. We have neighbors here, outside Grecia, who cook on wood stoves, so they have to be available somewhere. You might ask at your local ferreteria, too.
  8. The only likely reason that one would not be able to import a wood stove via Aerocasillas would be that you'd have to mortgage everything you own to pay their costs. Wood stoves are almost universally cast iron (right?). Anything large enough to burn a popsicle stick would be incredibly expensive to import regardless of the purchase price. Instead, why not buy one locally? Whether you're thinking of using it to cook on or for some supplemental heat, they're readily available locally. If it's import you must, consider having Mike Rappaport bring it down in his next consolidated container shipment. I think his next closing date is March 18th, but you should verify that. It would be much less expensive than using Aerocasillas. As for the liquor, can you buy it in a "duty free" shop in the airport? Regardless, there is a certain maximum amount each traveler can bring in their luggage.
  9. Based upon the things you listed, it's really pretty straightforward and hardly mysterious. The country has new and substantial obligations which, apparently, it cannot avoid. To meet those obligations, it must increase revenues.
  10. It is indeed sad that the Seahawks were the only ones on the field for most of the game. Had we not had a houseful, I would have turned it off at halftime.
  11. Setting aside considerations of return on investment, appreciation (or depreciation), and other financial calculations, there is the intrinsic value of owning one's own home that is important to some, ourselves among them. Su casa para el alquilar no seria mi hogar.
  12. Right, Dana. When I tried to open a U.S. HSBC account over the Internet, I was told by a customer service supervisor that it's impossible without a valid U.S. residential address. And I'm a U.S. citizen with a U.S. mailing address and (at that time) an account at Banco HSBC de Costa Rica. Life is no longer simple.
  13. Too, "same named" banks like ScotiaBank, maybe CitiBank, and perhaps others, are different entities in the two countries. So having (say) a Canadian ScotiaBank account won't do you any good here.
  14. Well, the day in November of 2004 when George Bush was declared the winner in Ohio, I emailed Canadian Immigration and got a flat, "no exceptions"," NO!" No "ifs" . . . no "ands" and definitely no "maybes".
  15. Not to worry about Australia, New Zealand and even Canada. When we were looking in 2005, none of those would even consider extending legal residency to retirees. They're not willing to take on the liabilities for their social welfare systems.
  16. It cannot have escaped everyone’s attention that an obvious link has emerged between Santa Claus and the National Security Agency. (“He’s making a list and checking it twice. He’s going to find out who’s naughty and nice . . .” (Sound familiar?)) That, and reflecting on the Pogo (“We have met the enemy and they are us.”) Christmas carols published in the 1950s and 1960s by their creator, Walt Kelly, in his widely syndicated comic strip of the same name, caused me to think that the time has come to update a seasonal classic. Herewith is a modest example . . . Uncle Sam-ta Claus is Coming to Town (Sung to the tune of Santa Claus is Coming to Town) Oh, you better not shout. You better not pout. ‘Cause Uncle Sam-ta has an eye in the sky. And your privacy is a great big, fat lie. They know when you are sleepin’. (Ewwww!) They know when you’re awake. They know when you have toed the line, so toe it for goodness’ sake. They’ve made up their lists. And you’re on ‘em twice. They have you listed Both “naughty” and “nice”. Uncle Sam-ta Claus is coming to town. Oh, you better not shout. You better not pout. You better not joke. And you better not cry or the TSA might not let you fly. They know what’s in your luggage. They see what’s up your skirt. You’re welcome to a pat down but they promise that their scanners won’t hurt. (Much. Soon. Anything important. So they say.) They have this great big list. If you’re on it you’re out of luck. And if you’re name’s Mohammad, you really ought to change it to Chuck. Yes, Uncle Sam-ta Claus is all over town. Oh, you better not shout. You better not pout. Better not send an email, or even a text. The NSA’s tech is so high tha-at they know what you’re gonna do next. They have you on their radar. They listen to your calls. And if they think they hear something, they’ll have you by the throat. (Hey, it’s a family song.) Uncle Sam-ta Claus is all over town. Oh, you better not shout. Better not try to hide. The IRS is not on your side. The auditor is coming for you. They know all your offshore accounts. They know what’s in your pocket. And if you don’t declare the penny jar, to you they’re sure to sock it. Uncle Sam-ta Claus is coming for you. Oh, you better not cry. You better not wail. Or you could wake up in some secret jail. (In Egypt, Bulgaria or God knows where.) The CIA is watching you. They have their spies up in the sky. They talk with the NSA. They’re buddy-buddy with the FBI. And they run Guantanamo Bay. Yes, Uncle Sam-ta Claus is all over town. Oh, you better not shout. You better not pout. ‘Cause Uncle Sam-ta Claus has an eye in the sky. And your privacy is a great big, fat lie. They know when you are sleepin’. They know when you’re awake. They know when you have toed the line, so toe it for goodness’ sake. Happy Holidays, everyone!
  17. Lucybelle, I think you're not making enough of a pest of yourself. If contacting them once a month hasn't helped, why keep doing it? Why not contact them once a week? And if that doesn't help, contact them every day. Or morning, noon and night. Each time you contact them, tell them when they'll be hearing from you again and stick to it. Too, if you are able to break through to an actual human being, ask immediately to speak to his or her supervisor. If they're in a meeting, ask to be put on Hold. If they decline, call back and ask again. And again. And again. Then ask for an appointment to talk to whomever makes the actual decision. The point is to make this process more uncomfortable for them than it is for you (and to deprive them of some sleep while you're at it). Misery loves company.
  18. Yup, I just tried it to see what'd happen and got the same "Access Denied" response. So, Bob, did you learn anything worth sharing?
  19. Inside Costa Rica reports this morning that Costa Rica's electricity utilities are all getting rate increases in January. Here's a link: http://insidecostarica.com/2013/12/10/electric-rates-will-increase-january/ Every time this happens, and it's fairly frequent, photovoltaic electricity generation and solar water heating become more and more financially attractive. Rates go up while system costs trend downward.
  20. Central Alberta, eh? Isn't that the home of the "Alberta Clippers", those severe winter storms that sweep down out of Alberta (duh!) and make life in the U.S. miserable? Well, you get no sympathy from me.
  21. I would point out that, regardless the differences in costs of living, if you move to Mexico with its recent history, more than your eyeballs may bleed. Costa Rica is the only country south of the Rio Grande that has a significant history of stable democracy and social and political stability and tranquility. Things may cost less in Mexico or elsewhere as long as current conditions prevail, but unlike Costa Rica (since 1948, at least) no other Latin American country can provide you the security you'll experience here. To be sure, Costa Rica is rife with problems. It shares that characteristic with everywhere else in the world. But political, social and economic stability are critical factors in anyone's happiness. The cost of living is not the only determinant of your comfort in retirement.
  22. If you've not heard, yesterday the Phillippines was hit with what may be the most destructive storm in history. The news reports of the damage and loss of life are staggering. If you're inclined to help, here's a link to some organizations to which you might make a contribution: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/09/21386694-how-to-help-organizations-offering-relief-to-typhoon-haiyan-survivors?lite
  23. Thank you, Tiffany. I like it that you would have liked it if only you could have liked it. There's nothing like being liked.
  24. I think I've seen what you're looking for at EPA. You want something cushy to stand on, right? Or are you looking for traction mats?
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