August 25, 2010

Pictures of the Day, August 19-24, 2010

I've been putting these up on flickr (and a few on Facebook), but here are my favorite pictures I've taken the last few days:

August 19th: An office building near where I teach a class in San Jose. It was raining, so I had to take the picture from my car (Because of traffic, I either get to class around an hour early or about 5 minutes late... I prefer early, so I just hang out in my car and wait till 5, like some kinda creep).

August 20th: A praying lady at a church in Cañas, in Guanacaste. I like this picture a lot. I had to go to Cañas with Lucy and Oskar to do some placement test interviews, but we got there early and had some time to kill, so we decided to check out the church.

August 21st: Angela made this funny dinner/breakfast for me, consisting of rice and beans, a salad, and a little egg chicken figurine. She called "arroz con pollito." I love my wife!

August 22nd: Today was a big day for my "to-do inside" list. Mostly, it involved hanging stuff with the drill, including some smoke alarms.

August 23rd: Today was a day for the outside "to-do" list, including moving lots of rocks and re-doing a border around the house sidewalks.

August 24th: A very, very small little frog that Angela found on our back patio. I've included a few pictures with it next to a peanut, a universal reference and comparative measurement for "something small."
Wow, looking at this, it doesn't look real. It is! It's just a ridiculously small frog!

So, that's it for now. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

August 21, 2010

The Verdict Is In

A moment ago Angela called me into her office to see a picture (evidently she's finished her lesson plan and has been playing with some pictures... either that, or she's been smoking something really weird). She asked me, "Is this picture dorky?" and showed me this:

I think we can knock down that crappy statue of David in Italy, because we finally found a suitable replacement.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

August 19, 2010

Picture of the Day Catch-Up, August 9-18, 2010

I realized that although I've been uploading these pictures to flickr, I've not been putting them on this blog for the last couple of days, so here they are:

August 9th: Kind of lame for a Picture of the Day, but there are lots of flowers around these days.

August 10th: This is a bug that Angela found on the side of the house, so she called me over to see it. She said that this is sometimes called "mula del diablo," or the "devil's mule," but then again, I'm pretty sure she's pointed out about three other, completely different bugs that she also said were called "mula del diablo."
In any case, it was about 6 or 7 inches long, and pretty cool looking.

August 11th: This is our "Cucho candle," which we decided to light to think about Cucho, who died almost a month ago. We still miss him. He was a great cat.

August 12th: And now for something completely different...
On Thursdays I've been going to San Jose to teach in the evenings. The first week I went there I noticed a fast food restaurant called "Don Döner," or "Mister Döner." As you can imagine, my curiosity was piqued... could it actually be the same delicious döner kebab as found in Turkish restaurants in Germany??
As it turns out, almost. It was quite tasty, but still not as good as in Germany. And probably Turkey, for that matter!
Still, very tasty... so tasty that I ate about 80% of it before I remembered to take a picture!

August 13th: Our car had a problem with its brake lights. They wouldn't turn off, no matter what we did. I had to disconnect the cable that led from the fuse box, but that was only temporary. In the end, a guy from down the road came over and was able to fix the problem. He had to dismantle about half of the car in the immediate vicinity of the steering wheel, but it worked, and he only charged us about 10 dollars. We got lucky on that one.

August 14th: This is a poster we have hanging up at work. It's for the United Nation's refugee organization. I decided to take a picture of it because of the phrase "I hope I find some water soon," which was ironic because the water went out at school that day.

August 15th: An apple cake that I made for Mother's Day (it's August 15th in Costa Rica). I got the recipe from our Belgian friend Sofie, and it turned out very tasty!

August 16th: It's been raining a lot lately, but in the last week or so it's gotten strange. It'll storm crazily for a short period, and then shape up for a while. In this case, it had rained a lot in the morning, and then it basically got clear in the afternoon.

Still, we could see part of the coast (in the horizon here, you can see the Gulf of Nicoya and the peninsula where Guanacaste is), but there were these super-puffy white clouds just sitting there, slowly moving up the hills.

August 17th: "Dónde jugarán los niños?" Ha ha! This is just a swing at the school where I work. They finally replaced the wood seats, but now it looks like the chain could use a bit of attention.

August 18th: I actually read most of this on the 17th, but it kept me awake into the wee hours of the 18th, as well. It was a good book, and if you've read "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," you're sure to like this (and to notice some pretty obvious plot similarities). Fortunately, both books are quite enjoyable and well-written.

So, that's it for now. As usual, there are some leftovers, including pictures from Mother's Day at Angela's folks'. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

August 18, 2010

To Help You Get Through The Rest Of The Week

This is an old but good video:

Cassius - Cassius 99 1999 bY ZapMan69

It should be enough to get you safely through the rest of the week.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

August 13, 2010

I Thought, "Well, Sure, I Guess I Could Try Palí Again... It Can't Be THAT Bad"

A girl tried robbing stuff from Palí (the cheap, crappy grocery store chain) today while I was waiting in line. The guard stopped her, but she got all pissed and started saying she was pregnant (maybe one DAY pregnant, since she was as skinny as my leg). Anyhow, the guard made her empty her purse, and she had 4 bottles of shampoo and 3 sticks of deodorant.

I kinda hate Palí.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

August 12, 2010

Some More New Old Pictures!

I finally had more time to upload some of my older pictures. In this case, they're from 2007. For most people, they might not be that interesting. Still, depending on who you are or what you're into --Bucket showers, anyone?...Hey, I don't know-- then you might find something you like.

First and foremost, I've uploaded pictures from our wedding. My friend and professional photographer Brad took most of these, although at the start of the set there are some that I took while my family was visiting.

There are also more pictures from my mom's visit (a not-so-stealthy operation to come down and make sure that her future daughter-in-law wasn't a complete pyscho).

Also, there is a set from Nicaragua. I went there with my friend and former coworker Samuel. We visited his family in the far northern part of that country.

I evidently had to renew my visa another time in 2007, as well, so there is also a set of pictures from Panama.

And finally, the biggest set is of pictures of everyday life around Costa Rica.

Please feel free to check them out, leave comments, or download the pictures as you please. The links above are for the sets on their respective flickr pages, but you can also access them through fluidr by clicking on this link, in case you prefer a black background and a slightly slower-loading page.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

August 11, 2010

This Is My Jam

This isn't a recent song or video, but it's still cool:

Good song, a video with lots of superfluous elements, all-around cool... what's not to like?

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

August 10, 2010

Say My Name, Say My Name

According to this article, if my folks had followed Iraqi naming customs when I was born, I would have been named "Ryan Clarence Clarence al-Sitzman al-Fort Collins."

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

August 9, 2010

Pictures of the Day: August 4-8, 2010

Hi! I've got some Pictures of the Day from the last couple of (really rainy) days:

August 4th: And another one bites the dust. This tree was dangerously close to the side of the lot, and we were thinking it was just about to slide down and take a significant chunk of land with it. So, my brother-in-law Arnoldo cut it down for us.

August 5th: This is a beaded bird thingy that I have in my office. One of my students gave it to me a few years ago when I was teaching fourth grade... actually, now that I think about it, I think she sold it to me as some sort of fundraiser thing.

In any case, I'm having a difficult time with one of my current classes (the group is nice, but the logistics are a pain in the butt). Looking at this bird thing reminded me of two things:
1. You've got to recognize that most students are good on their own, even if things get frustrating when they're grouped.
2. They're still MUCH more tolerable than fourth graders!

August 6th: Some books on my "to read" shelf. Actually, all of my bookshelves are "to read" shelves, since once I finish reading a book, I try to schlep it up to Colorado as quickly as possible to avoid it getting mold.

August 7th: It's the rainy season. Kind of dull.
This is at work, where the rain was speedily sliding and dripping down the chain link fence. It actually looked kind of pretty, until I remembered that it'd look like that until November or so...

August 8th: There are quite a few things Costa Rica gets wrong, but plastic bags are one thing it gets right. They're strong and almost fashionable with their white and colored stripes.

Don't worry, though: I won't get all "American Beauty" on you and proclaim that it's the most beautiful thing I've ever photographed.

So, that's it for now. Thanks for reading, and have a good one!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

August 4, 2010

Mind-Blowing Video

This is a video that my brother recommended to me. It's amazing:

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

If you don't have 10 minutes to watch it now, you should either make 10 minutes, or come back when you do. It's really that incredible.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

Pictures of the Day, July 26 - August 3, 2010

Here are my Pictures of the Day from the last week or so. A few of them are repeats from the scavenger hunt, but I guess that's OK. As always, there are also leftovers, so feel free to check those out!

July 26th: Angela was "knitting" this evening while we watched the Planet Earth DVDs that Paul loaned us. I put "knitting" in quotes because she uses a board thingy instead of needles, but the result is the same.

July 27th: This is definitely a "typical" Costa Rican picture: stuck in traffic. Driving here, compared to the US and Europe, is exponentially slower and more frustrating.
In this case, a funeral procession was walking up a hill, blocking the road into Palmares. I understand this makes me seem like a cold-hearted bastard, but at the same time, it was creating a danger, since frustrated drivers were trying to pass the procession. Plus, there's obviously a sidewalk... why not use that for the procession?

July 28th: It's been a while since I got a machete picture, so a photo scavenger hunt was the perfect opportunity. The subject was "weapon."

July 29th: More pictures from the photo scavenger hunt. The theme for this one was "western."

July 30th: Our power went out for a few hours this day, so I used a new headlamp to go around the house. When I saw my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I knew I'd found my "red" picture for the scavenger hunt.

July 31st: I've seen this ad in a few places recently, and I'm glad I caught it in a picture. It says "Yo existo," or "I exist." Apparently, it's for a local census in Palmares.

August 1st: A Frisbee. I brought this Frisbee to Costa Rica with the intention of taking it to the beach, but in the couple dozen times we've gone since I brought it, I have not remembered it a single time.
And yes, it's on top of a map quiz, which I like to complete in my free time.

August 2nd: Mint Magic tea. One of my favorites, not so much based on taste, but based on wizardry.
Paul said that you can't see this tea in Colorado, which is strange since it's made there. One way or the other, it's surprising to see that Celestial Seasonings has made it into various Costa Rican supermarkets, and that the boxes of tea still only cost about 3 dollars, which is about the same as in Colorado. Someone's getting ripped off somewhere.

August 3rd: This is probably the most disgusting Picture of the Day I'll have. At least I hope so.
I really hate those nail files and emory boards that people sometimes use. They make me want to vomit, actually, and I think for me it's the same reaction as some people have with nails on a chalkboard. In any case, when I see or hear someone filing their nails, it makes me think of this.

So, we're caught up for now. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

August 1, 2010

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Lucy recently told me about a photo scavenger hunt that a person apparently named "Hareton" is putting on, so I decided to take part. I had to find 25 items in a week or so, and here are my results. It was just a fun little thing:

1 - Arrow: At the entrance to the school where we work. I just realized it, but this arrow is basically pointless (no pun intended), since it doesn't really direct to anything, and there's really only one way you can go when you enter the grounds.

2 - Crushed: A miniature pringles can in the gymnasium.

3 - Duct Tape: An old breaker box or something like that, held together by duct tape that has seen better days.

4 - Hole: The only problem with taking a picture of a pothole in Costa Rica is choosing which pothole. Once you think you've gotten a winner, you always come across an even bigger one, but since it's on the highway, you can't just stop to take a picture.

5 - My State: The Colorado flag I proudly have hanging in my office. I liked it ever since I noticed it's sort of like a candle. (Oh, and I technically live in the province of Alajuela now, but I wouldn't really consider myself an Alajuelense).

6 - Money: The Costa Rican 10,000 Colones bill --worth around 20 dollars-- featuring a cat suspiciously similar to Cucho.

7 - Contrast: A new bird of paradise flower on the left overshadows a dried out, dead one.

8 - Western: Well, it is a western-looking photograph, can't argue with that. The hard thing was getting the broken compass to work.

9 - Nothing: This was taken at noon the other day. Not much going on in our backyard.

10 - Vending Machine: I knew this picture was going to be a big challenge when I realized that Costa Rica doesn't have vending machines... anywhere! But then on that same foggy day as #9, this truck slowly rolled down the street blasting an advertising message over the barely-visible loudspeakers mounted on its hood. So, technically it's trying to sell something, so I reckon that's close enough to be a vending machine.

11 - Missing: This empty pole is where a stop sign should be (and probably once was) on a street in San Jose. Evidently there's a market for stolen stop signs. I had to go to San Jose on Thursday to teach a class.

12 - Four: Outside classroom number cuatro at the school where we teach.

13 - Old-Fashioned: An old-style hat that my friend Dustin gave me. I'm sure this style probably has a name, but I just call it "The type of hat where I should probably yell 'EXTRA! EXTRA!' while wearing it."

14 - Laundry: Angela and I really ought to get a supplementary laundry basket, or a different system. The one in our bathroom is always overflowing into the bathtub.

15 - Weapon: This was one of the easiest items to find, since I'm not the only person who keeps a couple of machetes in his office.

16 - The Letter "A": The letter A did me a solid (or a solido) by appearing on this fire extinguisher.

17 - Puff: I'm pretty sure that you can refer to a "puff of steam." At least I hope you can, since this picture is based on that premise.

18 - Red: The other evening the power went out for a few hours, and when I saw my reflection in the mirror, I knew I had my "red" picture.

19 - Palm: Palm trees at work.

20 - Water Tower: Most houses have these tanks on their roofs to have a backup when the water gets shut off.

21 - Game: Two, in fact. These are our knock-off versions of "Othello" and "Trivial Pursuit."

22 - Wrong: Actually, now I'm not so certain. I thought that "estrategia" was spelled with an "s," not an "x," but now according to an internet search, "extrategia" may also be a word. But, it's just wrong that I can often notice other people's spelling errors in Spanish (usually having to do with s/c/z, and v/b). Shouldn't happen.

23 - Ownership: And the owner says, "Stay the hell out!"

24 - Label: A label detailing the contents of a book of posters, which we use for our lessons.

25 - Toy: I brought this Frisbee to Costa Rica with the intention of taking it to the beach, but in the couple dozen times we've gone since I brought it, I have not remembered it a single time.

So, that's it for the Photo Scavenger Hunt, but if you check out Hareton's blog's comments, you can see links to other participants' pictures. It's pretty cool!

I'll also put up Pictures of the Day as soon as possible, but thanks for reading in the meantime!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook