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David C. Murray

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Everything posted by David C. Murray

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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".
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Comi
  7. 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 appointmen
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 charac
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. 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!)
  16. 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 w
  17. 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 . . .
  18. 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 buildin
  19. Isn't kinchi (kimchee) really just pickled cabbage (think sauerkraut) but fiery hot?
  20. 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.
  21. Lutefisk prepared in lye. also bad smelling. It's scary that you know that, Carol.
  22. Well, I feel like I've dodged the proverbial bullet. On several trips to the Maritimes, we were tempted to stop at one church supper or another that advertised Solomon Gundy (right?). How glad I am that we didn't. It sounds like a down east version of the lutefisk(sp?) which Garrison Kielor(sp?) has spoken of on A Prairie Home Companion. He reported that the volunteer firefighters of Lake Woebegon made lutefisk every year for their fundraiser. After starting the batch, they had to burn their clothes. I'll stick to the cod tongues.
  23. Okay, Carol, I give up. I've eaten my share of cod tongues but nevah halibut tongues nor cheeks. And, now that we've completely hijacked this thread, could you please explain salmon gundy(sp?) to me? By "explain" I mean (1)what the heck is it? (2)why would anyone eat it? and (3)why is it called that?
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