Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Last night I watched the movie Tower Heist on Netflix.

I took 2 more Excedrin Migraine for my back, put in my earplugs and went to bed at 11:15. I had a little difficulty getting to sleep because I couldn’t find a good position without some pain.  For some reason I woke up about 4am so I got up for a sip of water.  I heard firecrackers about 4:30 and again about 5am even though I had my earplugs in.  I finally woke/got up at 7:20.

Isn’t today the official 1st day of winter?    Brrrr!

In 2013, winter begins with the solstice at 12:11 P.M. on December 21 (EST).
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” Steve Martin.
The word solstice comes from the Latin words for "sun" and "to stand still.” In the Northern Hemisphere, as summer advances to winter, the points on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets advance southward each day; the high point in the Sun’s daily path across the sky, which occurs at local noon, also moves southward each day. At the winter solstice, the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position. The next day, the path will advance northward. However, a few days before and after the winter solstice, the change is so slight that the Sun’s path seems to stay the same, or stand still. The Sun is directly overhead at "high-noon" on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the solstice days are the days with the fewest hours of sunlight during the whole year.

I bought a small package of milk from Salsamentaría Bolivar for my breakfast granola.

At 10:05 I caught a Circular 302 bus.  A short time later a young man got on the bus, handed everyone a Christmas CD and started playing songs on his portable CD player.  I believe he was selling them for 2mil ($1).  I got off the bus across from Monterrey CC at 10:35.  

I was at Mail Boxes Etc. by 10:45.  The young lady checked my account and told me I should have something on Monday.  I hope, and expect, it’s my book.

At 11:00 I was at Flip Flop Sandwich Shop and I sat with David from Kentucky again.  He has a business selling cigarettes on the internet and last week, he told me, his apartment got raided by the ATF.  He came home to find his front door knocked in and lots of Policia standing around.  They had a search warrant but he wasn’t sure what they were looking for.  He had heard something about Russians laundering money somewhere around here and maybe that was what they were looking for.  He asked the feds when they got in town and they said “yesterday”.  David responded “you came all the way here just to see me?  Well, enjoy Medellin, it’s a beautiful city!”

For lunch I had their Sloppy Joe with potato chips and a Coke for 10mil ($5.26) and I left a 2mil tip.  I asked Chris, the owner, if there might be a short cut (and probably more scenic route) from his restaurant to James Lindzey’s place and he said “no, the side roads here would just take you further up into the hills and you’d get lost”.  I asked him if there might be a back exit from Oviedo CC to take down to Avenida Las Vegas where I could catch a bus and he said “yes, just go as far down and back into the mall as you can to Carulla market, go out their back door and down to the right and you’ll see Avenida Las Vegas.

I left FFSS at 11:35 and was at James Lindzey’s apartment at 12:10.  I gave him the CD with my picture on it, he made a copy and gave the original back to me.  (I probably could have emailed him a copy!)  I gave him the pictures and he said the small ones are for passports and the large ones are for my Cedula.  He gave me 2 letters, in Spanish, the 1st requesting the renewal of my Pensionado Visa and the 2nd is a Power of Attorney.  I have to take them with my passport, have them notarized and returned to him by Monday or Tuesday.  He confirmed the directions from Oviedo to Avenida Las Vegas that Chris had given me.  Or, he said, from Avenida Poblado go down the street between Oviedo and McDonald’s and it will get you down there too.”

I left his apartment at 12:35, walked down to Oviedo and was at Carulla by 12:55.  From there I walked out the back of the mall, across the street, turned right, walked a small block, turned left, walked a long block down to Avenida Las Vegas, and crossed the street.  I was right outside EAFIT just short of the bridge with the big support lines by 1:35.

I walked a little further south to a bus stop where there was a Circular Sur 303 bus waiting and I was back at Viva mall by 1:35.  I was almost dripping from all the walking and the stuffy bus ride so I stopped at BK and had an ice cream cone for 1600 pesos (84 cents) to help cool me down.

I walked across the street and noted that the Notario #31 office closed today at 12:30 and reopens Monday at 8am.  I should be able to take care of that Monday morning after breakfast, jump on a bus to EAFIT, walk up the hill to James’ office, over to FFSS for lunch, down to MBE where hopefully my book will be waiting for me, and then down to Monterrey to catch a bus home.  Again, there was another young man selling the same Christmas CD on the bus on the way home.

When I got back to the apartment I found an envelope for me inside the front door of the building.  It’s the receipt for my December 1st Sears pension payment.

I saw the 2 young ladies that live across the street talking to someone outside so maybe the family didn’t go away for the holiday.

I took a nap from 3 to 3:30.

I had a nice dinner of Solomito (skirt steak) with mango juice at SanJote in LM for 16,500 ($8.68).  They were getting the central area set up with a stage for some entertainment.  After I had placed my order I walked to the other end of the mall as one side had a lot of chairs set up for people to enjoy the performance.  As I was walking to the other side an older man (ok, like me) said something like “Hi, how are you, I’m fine.”  He got up and introduced himself as “Harry, Dirty Harry”.  He said he has breakfast here all the time and often sees me here.  He said he was here with his girlfriend – she looked to be maybe 30 – and she would like to play chess with me sometime.  I said “sure, anytime”.  I sat down to read my Nook while waiting for my food and they left a few minutes later.

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