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David C. Murray

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Everything posted by David C. Murray

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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".
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. So are you saying that you're having this experience, too? (I've entered this post from my iPad running Safari under IOS 7.) And no, Paul, I've not tried to "Quote" someone else's reply using Chrome, Firefox or WhatHaveYou. (Edited 2 minutes later (still from the iPad) . . . And there it is! How very, very strange!)
  18. As long as we're addressing problems with this Forum's software, the response immediately above is one I just posted. I "Quote"d lucybelle's Response #4, added a few words of text, and pressed "Post" at the bottom of the window. And Presto! . . . nothing. For several weeks (maybe longer) the only way I've been able to quote someone else's posting is to copy it to the clipboard on my computer, copy it into a "Reply to this topic" window like this one, prefaced with "<Someone's name>, you wrote, " . . . , and then add my own reply below. Obviously, this isn't the way it's supposed to work. BTW, I've been using Safari running first under OS X Lion and now under OS X Mavericks but always with the same experience.
  19. At the risk of repeating myself again once more all over again, I think I can safely say that most folks who come to Costa Rica and thrive bring their money with them. Establishing and running any sort of business here is fraught with difficulties and success is hardly assured. There's an old adage about making money in motorcycle racing, "If you want to make a million dollars, begin with three." Same here . . .
  20. Chrissy, whether you're looking at a purely residential property or a business, the "fit" between buyer and property has to be right. That includes all the characteristics of both, the location, the price, the available funds, etc. Properties in Costa Rica all have their own "unique" set of characteristics. In any given area, in any particular price range, there really are a very few buyers, so properties can take years to sell. It's also true that there's a lot of old or bad information out there. You can find a dozen sources that say that properties here are dirt cheap, that building is a small fraction of the cost in North America, etc. Well, maybe that was true once, but for the most part it's not any longer, so buyers show up with a preconceived set of notions (and often not a lot of cash) and are quickly put off. One additional factor to consider is that mortgages here are very difficult to obtain. North American banks wouldn't consider lending on a Costa Rican property and Costa Rican banks' practices are very bureaucratic and incredibly slow.
  21. Isn't kinchi (kimchee) really just pickled cabbage (think sauerkraut) but fiery hot?
  22. Carol, Amazonian natives hold a festival at which they shrink the severed heads of their enemies. Just cuz it's a festival don't make it palatable. As for the kim chee, you're right, Gayle, that it's an acquired taste, but if you can find some that's not too fiery hot, it's actually pretty good.
  23. Lutefisk prepared in lye. also bad smelling. It's scary that you know that, Carol.
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