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"Doing Latin America, Mostly by Luck"


Quepos, Costa Rica, April 2011 - Edition 32

CLICK HERE FOR ARCHIVED EPISODES                                                                                                                 CLICK HERE FOR RESTAURANT ARCHIVES

Photos by Jbug Jenny: Cloudy Day in Quepos Harbor (Left); a Mischievous Racoon in Manuel Antonio; Nature's Art on the Beach (Right)
(For More Photos by Jbug Jenny, CLICK HERE)

IN THIS ISSUE: Broken News (Golden Gringo Tarnished, Nica Aggression Ruling. Tsunami Experience),
Un Esplendido Dia, Teen Tico, PAWS, What's-in-a-Word (Flores y Chicas, Che, ROMEO),
ROMEO Corner (Che y Che Parilla, Joker Reopens), Founder's Quote

Travel Quote of the Month:
 "Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that
                                            has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages."
- Dave Barry

Broken News

Golden Gringo Tarnished

The idea behind "golden" gringo is this; despite oftentimes clumsily plodding through life, our hero more than often comes out smelling like la rosa proverbial. Everyone's luck changes to the bad side at one time or another and on one day in March it was my turn.

After making a quick stop at the Social Security office to pay my monthly Caja (health system fee) I headed out to the hospital to get prescriptions filled. The hospital is a fifteen minute bus ride from where I live (150 colones) and houses the national health care system pharmacy. After turning in the prescriptions at the pharmacy and getting a stub to pick them up when ready, I headed over to the Soda al Hospital across the street for breakfast. Usually, by the time I return to the pharmacy from this little routine the prescriptions are ready, as they were that day.

I proceeded to the bus paying another 150 colones in pocket change and as I sat down, I realized my wallet was missing. In a panic, I went back to the Soda and to the waiting room at the hospital and neither had seen the billfold. Thinking it out, I remembered the last time I saw the wallet was when I took it out in the waiting room after breakfast to retrieve the little receipt used to pick up the medicine. So, at first, I believed the wallet had to have been lost or stolen in the waiting room. I cannot remember anyone even being close to me let alone bumping me (as is standard pick-pocket procedure) so I preferred to think it dropped out of my pocket in the waiting room and whoever found it decided not to turn it. But, in reality and retrospection I think it was more likely that my pocket was relieved of the billfold as the crowd pressed together to get on the bus.

The wallet had my only debit/credit card (U.S. Account), my Social Security card and various and sundry other things in it that will, I'm sure, become more important to me later. As fate would have it, I had just gone to the bank on the way to the hospital and the wallet also had about 75,000 colones in it ($150 in Rio Linda currency). Fortunately, I had enough change in my pocket to get back home via the bus.

The first thing I did when I got back to my apartment was to plug in my computer headset intent on calling the bank via Skype to put a stop on the card as well as to order a new one and perhaps also to arrange a wire transfer. I found the internet fluctuating in and out of service (happening a little too often lately it seems) and the resulting communication was sporadic and choppy. "Hi, th...s ..s Bob Nuuuu..md cal...ng fr... Cos... ...ca". "I'm sorrr... y ..ir, Kat... is ouuu... .o lun...". I finally gave in and asked for my banker's voice mail - hopefully she would get the message. I followed it with an email and it seemed that in this last mode, eventually, the electrons proceeded down that narrow wire towards the intended recipient ..one ..at ..a ..time.

My nerves got the best of me and I suddenly needed to heed a pressing nature call, which I proceeded to accomplish forthwith. Of course, afterwards I discovered when flushing the commode that the water was out too. Just close the cover GG and get back to it later.

I then sat back and started to watch TV but 6 or 7 of the most common stations were “no signal”. Incidentally, the station playing at Soda al Hospital was also showing "no signal" while I was eating breakfast. ICE (pronounced ee-say and standing for Instituto Costaricense de Electricidad - our national electric, cable and telecom company) must be in the middle of some important "adjustments" to have had so much communication infrastructure interfered with at one time (I'm trying very hard here not to use the words "screwed up" in place of "interfered with").

Ten minutes later, the power went out for about 15 minutes. When it rains it pours, or, as the Ticos say it, it was raining frogs and toads.

What was that about wanting to be a developed nation?

Nica Aggression Ruling

On Tuesday, March 9, the World Court in the Hague ruled on the petition by Costa Rica regarding the recent aggression by Nicaragua having invaded a small spit of land on the northeast corner of Costa Rica and then proceeded to cut a channel across Costa Rican territory to form a new mouth for the San Juan river (ORIGINAL REPORT, also see last three month's updates - ARCHIVES).

The gist of the "decision" was essentially to maintain the status quo and both countries were encouraged not to send troops or other forces of any kind into the disputed territory. Costa Rica may send an small inspection team says the court in order to assure themselves (the Ticos that is) further environmental damage is not being done (and if it were, what then?). Having thusly and bravely issued their preliminary ruling, the court is now free to consider their final ruling which those having knowledge of this august body say could take years. By that time the San Juan will have carved a new mouth from the ditch the Nica's scratched through the island and the new order will be firmly entrenched (love those puns). And, of course, several dozen lawyers will have made millions "working" on the problem.

Score one for Danny Ortega and the Nicas.

Tsunami Experience

After the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March, we expected, and indeed received, a watery echo of the waves that propagated through the Pacific. It had little effect here and no damage was reported. A crew member of a yacht (a little 127 footer built at a price tag of nearly $30 million) and temporarily docked at the new marina in Quepos told me they experienced a 4-1/2 foot wave that tossed the ship around a bit but caused no real damage.

We have to remember that Costa Rica is situated on the same Pacific Rim that passes through California and Japan. We regularly receive minor "terremotos" but our hero has personally experienced nothing above a 6.2. That little shaker, caused by an earthquake only 20 miles off Quepos, turned the walls of my apartment rather rubbery. The Richter scale being logarithmic rather than linear means that a 9.0 is not 50% greater than a 6.0 but instead 1,000 times as powerful. We hope (and pray) that nothing of that kind visits here. For more on our vibratory situation locally, go HERE.

Un Esplendido Dia

I was pleased on one recent Sunday to accept an invitation from my landlord and his family to go with them to San Isidro, which is located in the Canton of Perez Zeledon (locals pronounce this name as pah-res seledōn) about 90 kilometers south and west of Quepos.

The ride takes about 1-1/2 hours by car at modest travel speeds. That's my way of saying we were never more than 30 kilometers per hour over the speed limit, which was 80 km/hour in most places (Rio Lindans may want to multiply these numbers by 6 and divide by 10 to arrive at mph; some dudes in other locales would say that that's the same as multiplying by .6, for example 80 x .6 = 48 mph). Thanks to significant improvements in infrastructure, the riding time no longer is about 3 hours as it was a couple of years ago. Now it's short enough for an easy and pleasant family outing and day trip. So five of us, two of the three Madrigal boys, David (17) and José (12), as well as their parents plus yours truly, the token gringo, headed south in the family SUV.

San Isidro is nestled in a high plain in the middle of some of the most beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. The ride is magnificent, both down the coast from Quepos to Dominical and then from Dominical inland to San Isidro. This second leg is a paved road that winds up and around and sometimes through various towns and provides a string of panoramic views. There are lush light green valleys rising into darker emerald mountains that scrape the fluffy white clouds trying to make their way from the southeast to the northwest. The view is every bit as spectacular, if not more so, than what one experiences on the old mountain road to San José airport from the coast.

That's A Lotta Bull (but It's One of the Smaller Ones)

Our first stop was on the south side of San Isidro at the Perez-Zeledon Expo 2011. Back where our hero hails from, we'd call this a county fair.

There were fairways with multiple stands of food (the pork brochettes were yummy) and many of the standard games one expects at these affairs, such as ring tosses on bottles, which are designed to attract the kiddies and relieve parents of their money. There was one guy selling temporary tattoos airbrushed by a paint gun through a stencil placed on an arm, a shoulder or wherever body part you wanted (don't go there). One of the Madrigal boys (David) just had to have one of these on his arm. I was tempted but chickened out.

There were prized bulls galore and semen for sale from the best of them. Not being of farmer extraction I don't know the protocol on something like this and I wanted to ask a few questions like a) how is this stuff packaged (500 ml bottles like vodka?), b) are there guarantees of potency and freshness?, c) is delivery cost included? Yet, not wanting to be taken for the city-slicker I am, I refrained from asking these - maybe next time.

The bulls were intimidating but the horses were beautiful. There's nothing more that vaqueros love to do than to show off their horses. There was an exhibition in a small arena where horses competed by galloping, prancing and dancing. I'm not sure which animals took the equine prizes but they were all well-groomed and on their best behavior.

After a couple of hours at the Expo we grabbed a quick lunch at a nearby mall and headed over to the municipal stadium for a futbol game between Saprissa and Perez Zeledon.


My Horse Can Dance Better Than Your Horse

I was excited. At last, I was to attend my first professional futbol game (a futbol game is similar to a game they play in Rio Linda called soccer). When we approached the stadium there were the usual vendors one finds outside any game, busily hawking fan stuff. José, the younger Madrigal brother, couldn't resist himself and purchased a viking-like hat in the Perez Zeledon colors. An interesting aside for me was to learn that the boys mom, Yadira Segura, (this is the lady that ran for Vice-Mayor of Quepos - MORE) has a significant number of relatives in San Isidro and that the two boys were born in the San Isidro city hospital, which is situated directly across the street from the stadium.

Saprissa Dude (right) Trying to Get Control of the Ball; It's All About Control, Amigos.
Some of These Guys are Like Ballet Dancers (without the tutus)
Another Rabid Perez Zeledon fan (José Madrigal)

The Madrigals, knowing the system, suggested we purchase tickets on the "sun" side of the stadium. I was thinking it might be hot there but the game was to start at 4 PM and the sun sets at 5:30, like it does here every other day of the year, amigo. So it wouldn't be hot too long. I did notice that the price of our tickets (4,000 colones/$8) was substantially less on this side of the stadium versus the "shade" side.

When we arrived at our seats I was surprised to see that our side actually was more shaded than the opposite or "shade" side. Go figure; but it was welcome. Of course, on our side the seating was the cement bleacher type while on the other side there were bucket seats but the price difference in my opinion is not worth it if you have to sit in the sun.

My guesstimate is that the Perez Zeledon stadium seats about 5,000 and that this day it was about 90% full. Compare this to the Saprissa Stadium near San José which I'm told seats about 15,000 and the new, Chinese-built national stadium in San José centro that will be seating 35,000 and which is opening as we go to print. (MORE on the stadium)

I'm saving up my colones for a game at the new "Chino" stadium (as some call it) later this year. I'm told that ticket prices are $50-60 for the general stands. Yeah, OK, but I'm just hoping you can get good egg rolls and empanandas at the food stands.

There is a great following of Team Saprissa throughout Costa Rica. They have often been the national champions but unfortunately not this year as La Liga of Alejuela took the latest championship. One might still say, however, that Saprissa is the premier team in the minds of Costa Ricans and the crowd at San Isidro seemed to be split roughly 50% "Saprissistas" and 50% Perez-Zeledon even in P-Z's home stadium.

So it was with the Madrigals, split down the middle in loyalty. There was José with his P-Z hat (left) but David, the older brother was screaming wildly every time Saprissa scored. He ended up losing his voice as his reward for virulent team loyalty. The boys parents didn't seem to take sides but just enjoyed the game as did I, although I must admit I lean towards Saprissa also (maybe I just like being called a Saprissista).

Futbol games are played in two 45 minute periods with a 15 minute halftime break. There are very few time-outs, the most common reason for which is someone getting injured. Lacking this, the clock just keeps ticking through offsides and other interruptions (we counted 7 balls kicked out of the stadium into downtown San Isidro). The whole process, including buying our tickets, getting our seats, watching the game and half time entertainment took slightly over two hours.

The game itself was a squeaker and, therefore, a thriller. Saprissa took first blood about half way through the first period. About 10 minutes later Perez Zeledon scored a great goal after a few quick passes back and forth in front of the opponents net. It wasn't long before Saprissa scored again and then P-Z got an opportunity for a penalty kick (one player only against the goalie -  a difficult defensive job in futbol because the goal is so big). The P-Z dude converted the kick and the game ended the first half 2-2. After a long period of frantic play in the second half, Saprissa finally scored the winning goal and the game ended Saprissa -3, Perez Zeledon 2. 

We headed home tired but satisfied with a fine day in the mountains, truly un esplendido dia. The only casualty was David losing his voice from all the shouting he had done at the game. That, and the general fatigue among the rest of us, made for a quiet ride home.

                                                                                                     Tico Teen

The Chronicles take another step forward this month with the first inclusion of a video. 

After David Madrigal recovered his voice from the Saprissa/Perez Zeledon game, he agreed (after much coaxing) to be the guinea pig for the Chronicles video-making debut. The result is below. The quality is a bit crude, mostly because I used a cell phone rather than a video recorder (no money for video cameras in the capital expenditures budget this year).

I have a new appreciation for the shaky quality of the photos that standby observers take in the middle of a war or demonstration like in Libya or in a terremoto/tsunami like in Japan. It's hard to keep the darn thing still and rapid movements produce blurring.

               David Madrigal on UNIBE (click on picture)

David recently graduated from a private high school in Quepos called Colegio Delfines (literally Dolphins High School) with honors. He is an excellent student and a great help to his parents around the compound that contains their villa and the apartments where GG resides. In addition, he often plays guitar in a band of his peers and has composed a number of songs that I find clever or interesting in one way or another and reveal a budding talent.

In February, David matriculated at UNIBE (Universidad de Iberoamericana) in San José to begin his freshman year. He's not the first in his family to attend UNIBE and he may not be the last (the youngest Madrigal boy, Jose is coming up and is shown in the picture before the Perez Zeledon game above...

...but let David tell it in his own words. Click the arrow on the picture to the left; the video takes about two minutes.

Las Farmacias Madrigal; has a nice ring to it don't you think?   Go for it David!


Anyone who has visited or lived in the greater Quepos/Manuel Antonio area knows there is a very significant stray animal problem here, particularly with dogs but also with cats and other pets. Unfortunately, there is no municipal, publicly funded organization to do this work; no pound, no animal control department here.

There have been local individuals in the past who have done their best to alleviate the problem (Doña Carmen is a name often mentioned) by personally adopting large numbers of strays, but keeping ahead of the problem has been difficult.

Now we have a private organization based in Quepos that is tackling this problem with gusto. The project was initially an effort of the Quepos-Matapalo Women's Group. Less than two years ago a number of the ladies who were particularly interested in focusing on this issue formed a separate group and adopted the name PAWS. The acronym stands for Pets of Aguirre Welfare Shelter and was founded specifically to try and improve the control and treatment of stray animals in the region.

Our Chronicles domestic reporter (guess who that is) met recently with Pat Cheek and Jan Blackwell to learn a little more about the organization. Pat and Jan are respectively the President and Treasurer of PAWS.

I'll Go Anywhere Amigos But the Little Fur Ball Goes With Me

The PAWS ladies are trying to help through adoption services as well as periodic sterilization clinics. The clinics have also opened up to pet owners of un-neutered animals, the service providing some income to the organization. Two local veterinary doctors are now enlisted to help in the clinics.

"Our original goal was to spay/neuter as many strays as we could, and during the last 1 1/2 years we've been able to do that for over 400 animals" said Jan. "We're trying to get on a routine 6-week schedule for the clinics".

As time went on it was inevitable for the PAWS ladies to get involved in treatment of the animals beyond neutering as many of the strays come to them with infections or injuries. The doctors are of great help in this area also.

Some of the Ladies Hoping to Drum Up Interest in the Cause at the Weekend Open Market by the Sea (The Feria). They Seek Volunteers and/or Donations and Often Have Several Dogs and Cats Available for Adoption at This Weekly Event.

Notice Our Photographer Managed to Get His Finger in the Picture - Sometimes Our Guy (Guess Who That Is) is Not Too Professional, But Damn, He is Cheap.

"Longer term", says Pat, "we hope to fund, build and operate a real animal shelter". They also have a public education goal to provide information on this issue by visiting schools and civic groups and wherever else they can spread the word.

Our hero has been coming to this area since 2003 and I have to say I think PAWS seems to have made some headway in the last couple of years. My unscientific survey tells me the problem has peaked and perhaps diminished a little with regard to the number of strays seen in the environs I traverse (I hope that's not wishful thinking on my part). The problem is far from solved however.

For more information on PAWS go HERE. Contributions (money,volunteer time), of course, will be welcomed. Contact: info@paws.cr . Also, they have a Facebook page at PAWSCR. In addition, you can talk to Jan directly by calling her U.S. toll free number: 1-877-293-1458.

There's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come, executed by people who care and who are determined. Yet, there's still a lot of work to do amigos, so help them if you can.

Woof, woof (canine-speak for thanks).

What's-in-a-Word Department

Flores y Chicas

During a recent Spanish lesson, my teacher and I started talking about flowers and how many of them either derive from girls names or vice versa (most likely the vice versa). How about Margaret, which appears to be an English corruption of Margarita which, of course, is a daisy. I say "of course" but Margarita = Daisy wasn't apparent to me either. And Rosa is a rose, n'est ce pas? But then there is Rosalind (pretty rose) and Rosita or Rosalita (both meaning little rose) to offer variation. Other flower take-offs include Flora, Florida, Violeta, Jasmine, Narcissa (Daffodil), Begona, Zinnia, Liliana and Magnolia. I'm sure there are others that readers might offer.

Maliche Tree in Full Bloom
Late 16th Century Drawing of Cortés Meeting with Montezuma; La Malinche is the Babe to Hernán's Left

But the one I like best is Malinche. The Malinche is a large tree that produces a panoply of brilliant orange or red flowers and is prevalent in tropical areas like Costa Rica and even in sub-tropical areas like Florida. In the Sunshine State it's also called a Poinciana or Royal Poinciana. Other names for it are: Acacia, Flamboyant, Flamboyán, Ponciana real, Malinche [Flamboyant Tree, Peacock Flower, Flame of the Forest, Flame Tree] (Delonix regia).

But there is also a lady, a legendary historical character, who is big in Mexican culture and who has the name "La Malinche". Here's what Wikipedia had to say about her:

"La Malinche (c. 1550-1551), known also as Malintzin, Malinalli or Doña Marina, was a Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast, who played a role in the Spanish conquest of Mexico, acting as interpreter, advisor and intermediary for Hernán Cortés. She was one of twenty slaves given to Cortés by the natives of Tabasco in 1519. Later she became a mistress to Cortés and gave birth to his first son, Martin, who is considered one of the first Mestizos (i.e., people having mixed European and Indigenous American ancestry)."

And thus did the Spanish commence to leave their mark (and their progeny) in the new world only 17 years after Christopher Columbus landed in Central America. (Chris is reported to have visited the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama on his fourth and last visit to the new world in 1502-1504) Only nine years after Columbus' last visit, Ponce de Leon would discover Florida. In a short time, he and a few more Spanish explorers would eventually come to the conclusion that Florida was not worth inhabiting because of a plethora of alligators, snakes, mosquitoes, poisonous insects and grumpy indians, so they left. Picky, picky, picky.

By 1565 they were back to St. Augustine to give it another go. I bet that's when the ads started appearing in the Barcelona Times for "Large lots with Ocean View in Florida - be the first to own your own alligator farm (tastes like chicken) ..."

Nice intro, eh? "Amapola (Hibiscus), lindisima amapola..."  Although it's on the girl baby name list, would you really name a girl "Hibiscus"? - zowie, amigo.


This month's ROMEO restaurant review (below) focuses on an eatery called "Che y Che". My handy dandy Oceano diccionario defines che as ¡Hey! Hey yourself amigo. My Spanish teacher says Che is used widely in South American like ¡Mae! is used in Costa Rica or ¡Dude! is used in gringoland. So there amigo, to you I say ¡Dude!, ¡Mae!, ¡Che!, and don't take any wooden colones.


If you've been following the Chronicles you know that this acronym means Retired Old Men Eating Out. With the robbery that our hero reported in the Broken News segment above, we now have a total of five pick-pocket experiences among the three founding ROMEOS of the local chapter. As a result, our ROMEO Paul has suggested that we re-define the acronym to mean Retired Old Men Enriching Others. Right on, amigo.

                                                                          R.O.M.E.O. Corner (Retired Old Men Eating Out)

Che y Che Parrilla, Quepos (N.B. this restaurant has been CLOSED since this review)

Location: Main Street/Avenida Central - Quepos, Two Doors East of Wacky Wanda's. MAP OF QUEPOS
Hours: Lunch/Dinner, Closed Sundays
Parking: Anywhere You Can Find It
Contact: Oh For God's Sake, Just Walk In (You Can't Really Expect Reservations in a Place with Four Tables)

An Argentine steak house (parrilla = grill) in Quepos? Whodathunkit?

Che y Che is new to the area having opened last December. This place turned out to be another pleasant surprise located dead center in the bowels of downtown Quepos. It's a very simple place and there are only four, count them, 4 tables plus three stools at a food bar that fronts on the street; total seating capacity 19. You might think this has to be the smallest restaurant in the area. (Costa Rica? World?) but come with me sometime and let me show you a place in Quepos that specializes in ceviche (a cevicherria) that seats only 3. Also, I remember a restaurant in Amsterdam called the Groene Laenterna (Green Lantern) that seated only 10 people at five tables for two and that billed itself as the narrowest restaurant in the world, if not the smallest.

The setting at Che Y Che is simple, clean and sleek. But the tables have cloths rather than place mats unlike a lot of simple restaurants these days and that adds a touch of warmth and class. The walls are decorated with an assortment of plaques and artist renderings related to Argentina. The lighting is bright and unobtrusive. The service from our waitress was attentive and accommodating.

But it's the food that makes the place. You're first served a small loaf of fresh baked bread with two spreads for the bread, one containing a somewhat spicy chimichurri (salsa) and the other a mixture of chopped garlic, cilantro and olive oil. Yummers.


The menu is short and simple. There are a couple of steaks and, on the first visit, I had the one they call the Lomo Aguja. My dictionary defines aguja as a "needle". I'm not quite sure how this relates to a steak, particularly for a piece of meat that is rather square and a couple of inches thick. Perhaps it's named for an area in Argentina where meat is raised or maybe it's the grilling manner by which it's cooked. The piece of meat I had turned out to be a grilled sirloin filet of about 6 ounces. The meat was cooked to my order (pink - medico Rojas) and was lean and tasty (once more dispelling the American myth that beef must be marbled with fat to be tasty). The steak was mostly tender but, had it been subject to a little more aging, it would have been superb.

The steaks, as well as other dishes, are served with a small green salad having a mild oil dressing that was crisp and refreshing - excellent.

On a second visit, I had a ham and cheese empanada that was outstanding. Not having been exposed to a large number of empanadas in my life, I have not yet become an empanada connoisseur, I really thought deep brown heavy dough was de rigeur with these pasties but Che y Che has taught me differently. The empanada at Che y Che was a puffed up and crispy turnover with a filling of very fresh, diced ham and white cheese that was simply delicious.

If there is any negative about this place, in my mind it would be the limited view. The dining room is close to the street and open to it. At the dinner hour one is subject to a parade of various urchins and barachos wandering up and down Main Street and also to the noise of constant traffic and taxies lining up to capture turistas. In New York, they'd call this a bistro.

Also, a simple cushion on the stereotypical Tico hard wood chairs would be an improvement for the slipped disc market (me).

For downtown Quepos and Manuel Antonio, Che y Che is a bargain. The filet I had, with a soft drink, tax and tip was less than 7,000 colones (about $14). That level is getting to be more and more rare for good food in these parts.

Rating: Food - 5 Sloths; Ambiance - 3 Sloths; Service - 4 Sloths. Overall rating: 4 Sloths. Dollar rating: 3.

Joker Reopens

Pizza buffs, including the ROMEOS, were pleased to see that Joker Pizza re-opened in a new location in Quepos. This Italian pizzeria and restaurant was first reviewed in the Chronicles in August 2010. Joker is arguably the best pizza in town these days (there is a brand new place near the Monge Memorial Bridge that may give it a run for it's money and which will be reviewed in a later issue). Some of the other dishes including the tortellini and lasagna are also excellent. To see the original review, go HERE.

The new location is larger than the cramped space in their original restaurant which used to be located across from Farmacia Economica. The new location is near the outdoor football field, 50 meters west of the Chicken Bros. restaurant across the street from the Republica de Corea elementary school (if we had addresses, this one would be approximately 350 Avenida de Las Palmas Sur - MAP). Plenty of on-street parking is usually available in the evening along this street. Welcome back, amigos Joker, we missed you!

Founder's Quote

I'm not talking about the founder of the Chronicles but instead the "Founding Dudes" of that little gringo country to the north. Here's one for this month:

            "The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." --  
             Thomas Jefferson 

Methinks Tommy would not be too happy with a +$14,200,000,000,000 federal public debt, that is, if he could actually comprehend the number.

Don Roberto de Quepos,
El Gringo Dorado
Pura Vida!

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