Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Recovery Day #165!

“A date which will live in infamy”, FDR, 1941.

Today is Dia de las Velitas (Day of the Little Candles) here in Colombia. Per Medellin Guru, “People all over Colombia light candles and place them in the streets or the windows of their houses. Traditionally, the candles represented the Virgin Mary, however, these days, they’re more strongly associated with making a wish for the new year.”

 

Last night I went to bed at 11:15pm, fell asleep quickly, woke up at 5:15, made a trip to the restroom, did my Kegel exercises, and got up at 7am.

I left the apt just after 9am. Today I used Google Maps to guide me to Todo Drogas. Walking through La Buena Mesa I saw the new Ganso & Castor has opened. It wasn’t open yesterday so I guess today is their opening day. I counted 8 tables outside (mostly 2 seaters) and 11 inside. I think Glenn and I will check it out tomorrow.




It looked like the high school across from Parva is having their graduation today.

I followed Google Maps and one thing that’s obvious is it doesn’t account for (at least small) changes in elevation. Instead of walking on level ground at one point it took me down a slope then back up.

At Todo Drogas I bought my medicines for December for 181,200 ($46).

At the copy center I printed some chess notes. I wanted to laminate my vaccination card but forgot to bring it with me.

At the used bookstore I exchanged paperbacks for 2mil.

I walked back to Parva where I bought a loaf of bread and had coffee for an hour or so. This is what the inside looks like with their Christmas decorations.



In their endless loop of Christmas songs, I recognized “Oh Holy Night”.

I bought a package of lettuce on my way back to the apt.

Wow, I had a close game I was losing against Troyclough when he blundered then resigned increasing my rating to 1612. I resigned against Chief523 lowering my rating to 1607.

I chatted with Barnes & Noble again about my book order that was delivered to the wrong address. They said to contact them again if I don’t receive an email from the USPS by the end of the week.

At 3pm we hit 88 degrees before the sun hit our thermometer and sent it soaring to 100.

I helped Laura carry 2 bags of clothes down to a taxi to spend the night with her girlfriend Cindy (sp?).

I watched the movie Old (5.8) on MTV. Nothing special.

Fireworks and firecrackers started in the evening which will probably make sleeping more of a challenge than usual.

 

The New York Times’ 7-day average of new daily infections and deaths has the US with 109,822 ð 119,751 ð 120,071 new cases and 1,178 ð 1,266 ð 1,298 new deaths.

Per Medellin Guru, as of yesterday, Colombia has a total of 2,077 ð 1,698 ð 1,704 new cases with 47 ð 41 ð 53 new deaths. Medellin has 400 ð 288 ð 304 new cases from December 6th to 7th. Envigado has 15 ð 22 ð 8 new cases from December 6th to 7th.

 

T-shirt of the day

Knot today.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Monday, December 6, 2021

Recovery Day #164!

Last night I went to bed at 10pm, fell asleep quickly, made a trip to the bathroom at 2:15, woke up at 6:15, made a trip to the restroom and went back to bed. I completed my Kegel exercises, couldn’t fall back asleep with some dog in the neighborhood constantly barking so I got up at 7:30.

An interesting anecdote: Laura, like most Colombians, has taken cold showers all her life. After meeting Lenny, one day when he was taking a hot shower she asked, “are you cooking a chicken in there?”

They arrived about 8:30 and we all walked to Los Porteños where we had croissant sandwiches and coffee for breakfast. Teresa walked back to the apt and the rest of us took an Uber to El Tesoro for their dentist appointment with Dr. Rendon. They got a check-up and cleaning for 180mil ($45) each. We went into the mall and had coffee in Santa Leña. Lenny bought 6 bags of their coffee for presents. We went into Carulla where we found a large display of coffees. Lenny went a little crazy purchasing coffee and Laura picked up some snacks for the apt. At first Lenny couldn’t get his debit card to work and I was afraid I would have to use my Citibank card. He tried another card and that worked. A muchacho helped us with the 5 bags of groceries (mostly coffee) and we quickly caught a taxi back to Envigado.

Teresa informed me that the muchacho for the refrigerator doesn’t answer his phone. I followed Teresa out to the hallway and learned that there is a control box to turn off and on our water. That’s good to know.

We dropped off the bags then went to Asados Rogelio for lunch for 29mil each ($7.50). Imagine this photo with a bowl of frijoles and a fresh juice:


I called the refrigerator muchacho, he answered, and I handed the phone to Teresa. She told me he won’t be available until tonight or tomorrow. At least we’ve got the ball rolling.

Back at the apt the muchacho showed up and fixed the leaky water filter and only charged us 10mil.

We took an Uber to Antica Pizza where Lenny had pasta and the rest of us had pizza. We walked down the hill and quickly caught a taxi back to the apt.

Laura and I went with Lenny and his two large bags (one bag was filled with clothes, the other with bags of coffee) to the airport for his 1am flight in a spacious Uber. He checked in and went into the departure area. I made a trip to the restroom, Laura and I bought a bottle of water and I took my melatonin capsule. Outside the departure area we quickly caught a private car back to Envigado. Halfway back I took my sleeping pill. I was in bed by 11:15. This is the first night in a long time that I went to bed feeling warm so maybe the rainy season has finally ended.

 

The New York Times’ 7-day average of new daily infections and deaths has the US with 108,462 ð 109,822 ð 119,751 new cases and 1,179 ð 1,178 ð 1,266 new deaths.

Per Medellin Guru, as of yesterday, Colombia has a total of 2,609 ð 2,077 ð 1,698 new cases with 48 ð 47 ð 41 new deaths. Medellin has 422 ð 400 ð 288 new cases from December 5th to 6th. Envigado has 9  ð 15 ð 22 new cases from December 5th to 6th.

 

T-shirt of the day

Enjoy where you are.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Recovery Day #163!

Last night I went to bed at 10pm and fell asleep quickly. I made a trip to the bathroom at 2am and 4:30. I couldn’t fall back asleep, got up at 5am and took an Excedrin and went back to bed. I completed my Kegel exercises, still couldn’t fall asleep so I got up for the day, but I’ll probably need a little nap later.

For the past few weeks, I’ve felt a lump just above my belly button. I forgot to show it to Dr. Castano at my last appointment. I think my hernia repair failed so I’m going to need to see him again, but maybe not important to see him soon.

I’ve won and lost some games recently I forgot to mention, and my rating is now 1613.

Teresa and I took a Didi car to Hija Mia Nomada arriving at 8:30. Laura & Lenny arrived a few minutes later, then Glenn and Bianca. Teresa, Laura and I had the Acai bowl and Lenny and Glenn had the banana waffle. This afternoon Lenny is going on a Pablo Escobar tour, Laura and Teresa are going shopping, and I will watch my Bears game and order chicken wings from Go Wings. We left about 10am, Laura and Lenny took an Uber back to their hotel and Glenn, Teresa and I took a taxi back to Envigado.

I had an hour nap before my game. When I got up I noticed the refrigerator pulled out from the wall. Teresa told me it was leaking water so she had to put a plastic pan under the leak. Tomorrow we have to call the refrigerator filter muchacho.

I called Teresa a Didi and she left to meet Laura at Santafe mall.

I tried to set everything up to watch the Bears game using Medellin TV but it took me to a screen and I didn’t know how to proceed so I logged into NFL Game Pass and subscribed to their account for the remainder of the season for $15.

The thermometer reached 85 degrees before the sun hit it and sent it to 100 so we probably reached the upper 80s today.

I watched the Bears lose to the Cardinals 33-22. With 6 minutes left in the first half I used Rappi to order 4 chicken wings with fries from Go Wings. They arrived right at the beginning of halftime so that timing was perfect.

I received a voice mail message from the Citibank Fraud Dept. that there may have been an illegal attempt to use my debit card. I checked and it was just my NFL Game Pass subscription.

Teresa returned at 8pm.

The refrigerator leak is getting worse.

I lost a game with the Black pieces against Chiefs523 dropping my rating to 1607.

 

The New York Times’ 7-day average of new daily infections and deaths has the US with 104,264 ð 108,462 ð 109,822 new cases and 1,121 ð 1,179 ð 1,178 new deaths.

Per Medellin Guru, as of yesterday, Colombia has a total of 2,299 ð 2,609 ð 2,077 new cases with 42 ð 48 ð 47 new deaths. Medellin has 259 ð 422 ð 400 new cases from December 4th to 5th. Envigado has 20 ð 9  ð 15new cases from December 4th to 5th.

 

T-shirt of the day

No what. No one cares.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Recovery Day #162!

Today is my daughter’s birthday. Happy Birthday Jeannie!

Last night I went to bed at 11pm and fell asleep quickly, made a trip to the bathroom at 5am. I was awakened at 6:30 by Teresa talking to Laura. I understood Laura has cancelled the trip to Guatape, something about “It’s too cold in the morning”. I woke up at 8:15, did my Kegel exercises and got up.

I left the apt at 11am and walked to the mall where I made an ATM withdrawal then bought a few things in Exito before returning to the apt by taxi.

The plan now is to take a trip to Parque Arvi.

Teresa and I left the apt at 1pm. We waited 10 minutes for a metro bus but when it arrived it was cattle car packed. Instead, we walked down the hill and quickly caught a taxi to the metro. Our metro car was full but by a couple stops later it was cattle car full. It seemed Lenny & Laura were 5-10 minutes ahead of us and they were waiting for us when we arrived at Caribe station. It was a short wait for a cable car and then it was a 40-minute trip (with one transfer) to the park.

This is a view of Medellin from our cable car:



The ladies had a snack then we hired a private car for 10mil to take us to the Piedras Blancas Hotel where we easily got a shaded spot on their patio. Teresa ordered trout, Laura filet mignon, Lenny pepper steak and I the baby beef. 

This is a single page from their menu:



All the steaks arrived cold and were sent back and mine went from medium well to well done. Still tasty but a little chewy. Service left something to be desired, for example it took an hour to get our food and we had to ask them to bring us napkins. The total check came to 140mil including tip.

We paid and took the free bus back to the park entrance. The ladies had another little snack then we took the cable car back to Caribe station. They got off the metro at Poblado and we continued on to Ayurá station. We couldn’t find a taxi, Teresa suggested we walk but I didn’t want to do that in the dark so we took the Pavezgo bus and walked the last block back to our apt.

 

The New York Times’ 7-day average of new daily infections and deaths has the US with 94,643 ð 104,264 ð 108,462 new cases and 1,021 ð 1,121 ð 1,179 new deaths.

Per Medellin Guru, as of yesterday, Colombia has a total of 2,262 ð 2,299 ð 2,609 new cases with 57 ð 42 ð 48 new deaths. Medellin has 320 ð 259 ð 422 new cases from December 3rd to 4th. Envigado has 12 ð 20 ð 9 new cases from December 3rd to 4th.

 

T-shirt of the day

Dibs.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Friday, December 3, 2021

Recovery Day #161!

Today is the 3rd and final day of Dia sin IVA.

Last night I went to bed at 10:45pm and fell asleep quickly, made a trip to the bathroom at 5:45am, did my Kegel exercises and got up at 6am. Today my arm is no longer sore.

We are losing our water again today supposedly from 9 to 1pm. It finally went out at 10am. That kind of changes our plans. Now I understand we will all meet up at SantaFe mall where the ladies will shop and I will take Lenny to see Pueblito Paisa.

I ordered my new USAA debit card on November 11, I received an activation notice (meaning it’s been delivered) on November 23. I texted Nobraskja if they have anything for me and she said I have envelopes in FL that will be delivered next week.

Teresa and I left the apt at 10:45 and took a Didi car to Santafe mall. When L & L arrived, Lenny and I took a Didi car to Pueblito Paisa. We walked around a bit and Lenny bought some gifts for family and friends. We had a nice relaxing lunch in their restaurant. We went up on the deck to check out the 270-degree view of Medellin. We walked through their art museum then Lenny bought some gifts in their gift shop. Outside we quickly caught a taxi as it was arriving. The driver took us some back way to El Tesoro mall.

While we waited outside Zara for the ladies, I went to Natto Bowls and bought 2 cold bottles of water. When they arrived, Teresa exchanged something then the ladies had lunch in Natto Bowls. When it was time to leave, I went to the taxi turn machine and picked up number 110. I checked and they were now serving 999 so there were 110 numbers ahead of us. Lenny requested an Uber while Laura requested a Didi. Lenny’s came first and we all took an Uber to their hotel, El Cielo.



Nice hotel. While Laura “changed” Teresa and I waited in their 4th floor lobby. Teresa had a glass of wine while I stewed because Laura didn’t return for an hour and a half. We took another Uber to Mu arriving at 8pm. There were plenty of available tables and Lenny enjoyed his first taste of Mu ribs & fries. The check came to exactly 150mil. They were going to check out Parque Lleras a bit before returning to their hotel so they called us an uber and we returned to the apt by 10pm.

 

The New York Times’ 7-day average of new daily infections and deaths has the US with 86,565 ð 94,643 ð 104,264 new cases and 947 ð 1,021 ð 1,121 new deaths.

Per Medellin Guru, as of yesterday, Colombia has a total of 2,173 ð 2,262 ð 2,299 new cases with 58 ð 57 ð 42 new deaths. Medellin has 286 ð 320 ð 259 new cases from December 2nd to 3rd. Envigado has 19 ð 12 ð 20 new cases from December 2nd to 3rd.

 

T-shirt of the day

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Blah blah blah. Time for a snooze.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Recovery Day #160!

Last night I went to bed at 10:45pm and fell asleep quickly, made a trip to the bathroom at 5:45am, did my Kegel exercises and got up at 6am. Today arm is only sore when I touch the site of the injection.

At 8:30 Lenny and I walked to Los Porteños where we had croissant sandwiches and coffee for breakfast. Glenn joined us about an hour later. He explained he may not meet us for breakfast Sunday because he may be in the hospital with a urinary problem.

I called for a Didi car to pick up Lenny & me at the apt and take us to Museo de Antioquia. I got a senior discount for 9mil and Lenny paid the full fare of 18mil. We started at the top (3rd) floor and worked our way down,  both enjoying the exhibits. We walked to Parque Berrio where we took the metro to the Industriales Station. We walked the last 2-3 blocks to Mercado de Rio where we finally agreed on burgers from Juicy Lucy’s.

Superman statue outside Mercado de Rio:



Outside we caught a taxi to Parque Sabaneta. The taxi driver had the A/C on which was nice at first but eventually I got chilled. There were several detours in Sabaneta until we found the park.

My daughter texted me she was feeling much better today.

We went into the church so he could take some photos for his mom. Outside I bought a vanilla with raisins ice cream cone and he had a beer (or two or three) while we sat at one of the little outside tables.

Lenny enjoying a beer in the park.



A muchacho came along selling garbage bags. I asked him to wait until I could check if Teresa wanted them. While waiting for her reply I invited him to sit and bought him a Coke. After a bit I told him to return in 20 minutes and see if I had an answer. Finally, she replied to buy a bag of large bags which I did for 1,500 pesos when he returned. My cellphone battery soon died.

I decided to show Envigado park to Lenny so we walked two blocks away and quickly caught a Sabaneta bus. There weren’t a lot of available seats so we grabbed the only two together in the front row. On the way Laura texted us they were on their way to Percimon in La Buena Mesa so we changed our plans and stayed on the bus until we were 2 blocks away then got off and walked to the yogurt stand. We actually got there first so I made a quick trip to Parva to use their restroom. When I returned the ladies were sitting at a table inside eating yogurt. When they finished we walked back to the apt.

Everyone else took a nap then we walked to Chiclayo for supper. I was standing at the entrance and the only table I saw available was outside on their patio, which also happened to be right in front of me. I waited not ten seconds for a waitress to seat us when a man walked past me and sat at the table. I guess it was my bad not to take it right away. At least it was only a 5-minute wait for another one. They all ordered seafood and I ordered a chicken rice dish I’ve ordered before, pollo salado. We split the check in cash and Teresa and I returned to the apt while they went to catch a taxi to Parque Envigado to see the Christmas lights. It was 10pm by the time we returned to the apt so all we had time for was to prepare for bed.

Teresa and I both feel tight calves from walking down the stairs in Communa 13 yesterday.

 

The New York Times’ 7-day average of new daily infections and deaths has the US with 83,120  ð 86,565 ð 94,643 new cases and 893 ð 947 ð 1,021 new deaths.

Per Medellin Guru, as of yesterday, Colombia has a total of 2,296 ð 2,173 ð 2,262 new cases with 55 ð 58 ð 57 new deaths. Medellin has 493 ð 286 ð 320 new cases from December 1st to 2nd. Envigado has 10 ð 19 ð 12 new cases from December 1st to 2nd.

 

T-shirt of the day

Enjoy life now. This is not a rehearsal.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Recovery Day #159!

Last night I went to bed at 10pm and fell asleep quickly, got up once at 5am, did my Kegel exercises, finally waking/ getting up at 7:15am. My arm is only slightly sore, I think I’ll be able to sleep on it tonight.

I left the apt at 8:30 and took a Didi to Immigration. The driver’s name was Anderson and he lives nearby in Belen. I offered him the opportunity to wait a few minutes so he could take me back to Envigado after I pickup my new cedula but he was meeting a friend in a few minutes. The whole process of entering, waiting, receiving, signing for the new cedula took about 10 minutes. Outside, a taxi had just stopped to buy a snack from a vendor so I caught him before he left. He took me through Itagui, past Mayorista, and we took the new bridge to Avenida Las Vegas next to California Buffet.

I stopped in our neighborhood Exito and bought a jar of decaf coffee before returning to the apt.

Lenny and I left about 9:30 and walked to the mall. On the way I introduced him to Herman at his orange juice stand. Lenny exchanged some dollars $3000 for pesos. (I told him next time he should just use an ATM.) We then had coffee in Santa Leña. Being Italian, he likes expressos. We called the gals and found we will be skipping lunch but leaving for Los Patios Hostel at 1:15 so we each had another coffee with an almond croissant. We returned to the apt by taxi.

We left the apt by Didi at 1:30 and still arrived in time at Los Patios hostel. We were driven to Communa 13 where we met our tour guide, an inhabitant, Moses David. He took us up the hill explaining it’s history on the way. With my slight hearing loss + my tinnitus + his accent + the background noise, I had a difficult time hearing everything so I bought an English version of the book that explains it’s history. We had a rainstorm at one point but luckily it only lasted for 5-10 minutes. We visited a couple “art museums”, saw some break dancing, and took the outdoor escalators. 






Teresa was hungry so he took us to a family restaurant where they had fish but I, who wasn’t hungry, had a basket of patacones with a coconut lemonade. (Every time someone who paid their left a tip they beat a nearby drum.) We left just before dark and we walked straight down these back stairs, past his apt, and he connected us with our return trip driver who was a master of using Waze to navigate side streets and avoid congested traffic. At the hostel Teresa asked about Hija Mia and I believe they will be joining Glenn and I next Sunday. We walked down to Calle 10A (it’s actually Calle 11) where we quickly caught a taxi back to Envigado. Traffic was backed up before we even got to EAFIT university. I was kind of hanging out the window when at one point a woman in the car next to us said, “gracias” and I reflexively said, “mucho gusto” only realizing seconds later that she was being sarcastic because we didn’t let her enter our lane. Everyone, especially our driver, had a good laugh over that one. We finally returned to the apt by 7:45.

The 3 “lost” chess games I was concerned with, I have one loss against Chiefs523, one draw, and in the 3rd game I’m down 2 pawns but I think I might be able to hold the position for another draw. I’m also deep in the middlegame of the next game against Chiefs523 and he made novel moves on his 17th & 18th moves but I think I found good replies.

Laura and Lenny left at 8:30 to check-in to their hotel.

 

The New York Times’ 7-day average of new daily infections and deaths has the US with 80,684 ð 83,120  ð 86,565new cases and 884 ð 893 ð 947 new deaths.

Per Medellin Guru, as of yesterday, Colombia has a total of 1,975 ð 2,296 ð 2,173 new cases with 36 ð 55 ð 58 new deaths. Medellin has 329 ð 493 ð 286 new cases from November 30th to December 1st. Envigado has 18 ð 10 ð 19 new cases from November 30th to December 1st.

 

T-shirt of the day

One for the history books.