Update Ta -da!!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Update Ta -da!!
Monday, March 28, 2011
I think Alan Ginsburg should drop that part "philanthropist" from his description. But anyway, here is what the reporter reported later, after he received an apology from the "host" and the office of the VP:
"Powers said of his treatment: ‘It was frustrating and annoying that I was not given a chance to do my job fully and properly.
‘This was an extreme, and extremely inappropriate way of handling the press… it was essentially a rude and uncomfortable way to treat a reporter.’
He attempted to play down his treatment calling it ‘hardly unusual or shocking’ and confirmed that he received an apology from Ginsburg.
But he said the Vice President’s staff emailed him an apology which ‘I found far less satisfying than Ginsburg’s.’
The incident is especially embarrassing for the administration because it comes at a time when the White House has been condemning the treatment of journalists trying to report in Libya.
Just ten days ago, President Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney told reporters: ‘journalists should be protected and allowed to do their work.’
The Vice President’s office did not respond to requests for comment."
Now, this is what gets me intrigued..... that quote in red up there........ his treatment was "hardly unusual or shocking". WHAT does THAT mean?
Here's a new motto for the "Office": Least Responsive Administration Evah! It would seem nobody knows what they or anyone working with or for them are doing!
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Now the dawn indeed broke but the sun didn't follow. It rained just about the whole way to Bocas. And surprise! we were back in the truck with the suitcases wrapped in tarps in back. They survived and I was surprised. However, some 25 minutes from the landing to Bocas, we came to an abrupt stop, just a few cars behind a calamity. A beer truck, the big kind, must have approached the winding turn in the descent too fast, because beer bottles were everywhere, broken and the liquid was flowing freely down the mountain road. Needless to say, we were stuck. There was glass everywhere. I so mean everywhere. Well, what're ya gonna do? I got out and picked up a plastic crate and started shoveling the broken bits to the verge. Glad it wasn't raining here....
Here you can see something of the magnitude of the accident. We found lots of unbroken bottles, as well, in the brush on the side of the road. No, I didn't smuggle any. I figured the driver had hell to catch and didn't need more grief.
We eventually made our way to the dock, in the pouring rain now, and boarded a bumboat over to Bocas. Before we knew it, our luggage was grabbed and stowed by young boys working hard for some money and we were inside this ferry, headed for the island paradise, Bocas Del Toro.
After checking in and dropping off our stuff, we wandered around the town during a brief respite from the rain (finally!). It is fairly well consolidated in one area and the town has a nice square to hang around in with huge trees and a high canopy. Due to the unseasonably high rainfall, the grounds were also high in standing water. But the trees were abuzz with bird activity.
I loved the presentation. Mo and sat together on one side and shared each appetizer dish while John and Gary did likewise over there. I see now that the photo is sideways but even so, doesn't it look fabulous? It was. Too bad we were still trying to sort out what to do about the phone.
Ah, crepes... can't remember what was inside but it was creamy and nice.
We talked about losing cellphones. "Remember the time that guy walked up to you, punched you and took your phone in Mexico? " "Yeah and when I was standing on the corner in the city and that guy ran past and grabbed it off the holster as he went? That was weird"
When you carry everything you need, like keys, passport, coins, cellphone etc around in your front pocket, it all has to come out to sort through as you exchange money...... he really thought it slipped out in the rain and darkness and confusion as we got out of the cab...... he was kicking himself and Ozz was as kind and solicitous as you could want. At this point, he was like a good friend I wanted to ask to join us in a glass of wine!
I was beginning to mesmerize myself with the notion that the phone was still in the room, ringing off the charger and the people next door were hating their neighbors something awful. There was NO WAY THIS man would drop something like an iPhone, the size of a deck of playing cards for short-sighted people and not realize it! I was eager to be back there and find out! Dessert:
Now these are leeks and I've posted my thoughts on them in an earlier post. I am so happy to report that these (28) were seeded by me and transplanted late last fall and have thrived in this spring. We have not lost a single one and I look so forward to leek and potato soup! (The potatoes however has not come up. Yet)
And these are the strawberries we planted last spring and they are going gang-busters! They looked so bad late last summer, we fluctuated with hanging on or throwing them out but decided to just let them do what they would, and they doubled and tripled during the winter months. Now, half of them are heavy with fruit and we water them every morning deeply as they plump up.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
After the coffee finca tour, we grabbed a light bite at a crepery on the high street which was very nice and one crepe is extremely filling. We really should've split them but nevermind. They were very nice and it was fun to watch through the opening in the wall as the chef cooked the crepes.If you blow up the shot, you can see the crepe pan better.
and I demolished this one, with a curried chicken filling. This does give me ideas....
We just milled around the roundhouses for the afternoon
and watched the rain as we solved the problems of the world and heard with increasing concern about roadblocks that had been set up on the major roadways. This was an issue for us because we were due to leave in the morning by car (HAH!) for Bocas Del Toro, on the other side of the Continental Divide and on the Atlantic Ocean. Roadblock protests which were apparently growing more violent were definitely not on our itinerary. WEll, I reasoned, rather reasonably, I might add, that if no one could come in or get out, we might as well just hang right here in this beautiful setting and wait it out!
The restaurant is just off the bar and it was perhaps a third full. Intriguing was this one area set off from the actual dining space; a terraced gazebo closer to the river, with 3 tables and a huge roaring fire. As the evening progressed, I think that space might have been fine to dine in, but at the time of seating, I was afraid it might be too warm to enjoy. As it was, we had coffee afterwards inside. But back to the meal.
I needed no help downing this fish
I regret not paying more attention to the other dishes but, I was rather absorbed in my own moment of savoring. I did take the photos, though, so ..... I guess........ nevermind.
It is hard to decide on a bottle from an extensive wine list and we are not experts, but rather enthusiasts.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Tito is the man in the middle. The one on the left is our guide through the plantation.
For example, it was explained to us that this wreckage was once his car that he stripped for parts to make parts for his roasting machine, and conveyor belts.
The beans are inside this beautiful red berry and I was surprised how small they actually are! I thought the beans we see inside a bag of roasted coffee was the size you'd find in the bean but here you can see in this hand what the bean looks like fresh.
But I do know they go through this hopper and the lots of the outer shell goes flying through wide tubes and out the other end some 50 yards away where chickens mill around scratching at the remains.
You can see the dried beans and the hulls that are loosening from the bean
Now, there are several steps involved with rinsing and soaking etc before you get to a bean that is ready for roasting but we will sprint ahead to that step at this point.
Tito pours the beans into this roaster
As you can see, the beans get larger again as they roast.
See all those bags behind him? They are bags of unroasted beans ready for shipment. Again, all exported beans are shipped out unroasted so the destinations can do it to the taste of the customer base. I remember walking down Decatur in New Orleans and smelling the strong fragrance of roasting coffee. It's been a long time since the last time.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
and then proceeded to familiarize ourselves with the town, where to organize a coffee plantation tour, what restaurants the locals would recommend and a slow stroll back to the roundhouses.
who lives in Boquete year round with her husband and creates tile art, Tucan Tile, which she sells locally and at art fairs in the US southwest. She ships her things over and picks them up in an RV and travels the States fair to fair and then heads home from another Airport where she will repeat this a few months later...... pretty slick! and her work is very nice..... a little heavy to be hauling around in a small suitcase. Sadly.