11 August 2012

Costa Rica: Introduction

It was rothko who came up with the idea of going on vacation in Costa Rica. As a professional barista, she was interested in visiting a coffee plantation and learning more about the process of growing, harvesting and roasting the beans. I knew nothing about the country, and had to go do some research. It turns out that as Latin American countries go, Costa Rica is very unusual. After a brief civil war in 1948, the rebel army which seized power proceeded to draft a constitution, institute democratic elections, and disband the country’s entire military, including its own forces. ... Read more

4 August 2012

Chester budgie is unwell

When we returned from our vacation, Chestina the parakeet didn’t look too good. She had terrible itching and feather loss around the eyes, a dirty vent, and generally appeared ragged. Her head feathers had some kind of yellow material on them. I was concerned that she might have early stage scaly face, a mite infestation that’s a common budgie illness. We took her to the vet, and a physical examination revealed a serious abnormality, so we agreed to pay for X-rays. ... Read more

31 July 2012

On returning

We took a vacation to Costa Rica. Our return trip was one of contrasts. I’m writing about the return trip first, to get the unpleasantness over with. That and I have over 6GB of photos to work through, so the rest might take a while… Costa Rica’s San Juan international airport is the most mellow and relaxing airport I’ve visited. After paying the exit taxes and collecting our boarding passes, we passed through security screening quickly and easily. ... Read more

19 July 2012

A few words for global warming skeptics

[Updated 2013-06-26.] If you’re still considering yourself a ‘global warming skeptic’ in 2012, then we need to talk. Let’s start off by looking at Wikipedia’s summary of scientific opinion on climate change, and look at the list of statements by dissenting organizations. It notes that since 2007, no national or international scientific body has made any statement rejecting the reality of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change. The last organization to express ‘skepticism’? ... Read more

17 July 2012

Et tu, Brewtus?

Walked downstairs to work this morning—I love home office—and discovered to my dismay that the espresso machine hadn’t switched on. Because it takes a while to warm up, I keep it on a timer switch. The timer had worked, but investigation revealed that the main power switch had failed due to about 7 years of thermal stress. Fortunately, I was prepared. When the switch started to feel “soft” a couple of weeks ago, I logged on to eBay and found a random company in China selling identical replacement neon-lit 240V/15A rated panel switches. ... Read more

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