21 September, 2015

Is the Hiatus Over?

I don't know. I have been wasting time on Facebook, which I detest. Just about every posting I've made over there, I've had the niggling feeling that that posting should have been expanded into a blog post. Well, what can I say? As usual, my inner voice is probably right, but it wasn't shouting loud enough to overcome my laziness.

That is, till events have sort of forced my hand. Several things have occurred, or will be occurring. Ranging from upgrading my desktop PC to Windows 10 - that went painlessly. Windows 10 isn't perfect by any means, but it's light years ahead of any other Windows system upgrade that I've ever done; to finally getting a new-to-us vehicle, a Pueblo gold color, Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT pickup. It's a 2005 and the odometer has been around the world once (I hope).
Brand New Sport Trac
The color is an exotic-sounding Pueblo Gold Clearcoat Metallic - otherwise known as marl, eventually, the color of everything down here - which it matches perfectly, whether it's mud or dust. Much easier to keep that clean look than with the black Isuzu.

It has electric everything - windows; outside mirrors; the inside rearview mirror has a compass and a thermometer; electronic door locks - remote keyless entry, number code pad on the driver's door (I haven't figured that out yet as I haven't located the master code which is hidden somewhere). It even has a power sliding window in the center back of the cab. Well, it should have. It came with the window (which was good), but no mechanism (called a regulator) to raise or lower it, oh, and no motor to power the regulator. I'm shopping around for those items. Stay tuned.

Even the gas cap has a sensor to tell you if it's fastened correctly or not. I've also been chasing down lightbulbs that no longer work. So far, all fairly easy fixes. Hey, I know it's not perfect, but for Belize, it's a pretty cool ride.

Let's see, what's next? Oh, yes. I now have a dental bridge on the lower left side of my jaw. I had a broken tooth removed and within a couple of days, the tooth right in front of that one decided to explode. So a visit back to Dr. Cima to take care of that tooth as well. Then we had scheduling conflicts, so I ended up at Dr. Garcia's. I've now been to every dentist in town. And they're all very good. I can recommend each one wholeheartedly. Then, an infection developed. Turns out there was a bit of a root from one of the extracted teeth left that decided to go south. Dr. Garcia sent me over to an oral surgeon in Chetumal to have that removed. The stiches come out tomorrow and all should be A-OK.

And then there's the pool house. We finally bit the bullet and have decided to add on to it. We decided against going up, as in a second story, instead, we opted to go out as the drawing below shows:
Our Pool House - The Expanded Version

The left side of the drawing with all the detail is the existing pool house with a couple of minor changes, like an exterior door being moved from the existing bathroom to the outside door of the office, and a couple of windows will be repositioned.

We're going to convert one of the existing rooms to a small dining room, just off the living room. The other existing bedroom becomes our 'utility' room. That actually will be the pantry, laundry room, and utility room, housing the water softener, etc.

Our contractor, Carl Raney, took the first step the other day by laying out a rough footprint of the new structure using some leftover Belikin bottles.

Back of the Pool House Will Have Some Changes
Belikin Markers - A High-Tech Solution
The living room kind of becomes the central hub of the whole thing. You'll be able to go out to the veranda through a 10-foot sliding glass door, just like the one we already have, opening in the center.

From the living room, you'll be able to go into the bedroom and from there into the bathroom. Back in the living room again, you can go into the office and from there also out to the veranda.

There's going to be a pad outside the screened veranda where we're going to put a circular metal staircase that will use the existing flat roof as an observation deck

The walkway will be screened with shade cloth all around the outside. The roof will be gabled (I think is the right term) covering all the veranda and the interior spaces.

The pool house kitchen will still be our kitchen. The existing bathroom will still be accessible for pool use and if we want, we have left the door to the new dining room so we can secure the rest of the house from the pool part - if that makes sense.

Once we get construction finished, we're planning to move into the pool house. That becomes our home. The Mennonite house, we plan to rehab it a bit, new paint, kitchen counter, some minor repairs, that sort of thing, and then maybe rent it out for long-term tenents. We're still thinking about it. We'll physically isolate the downstairs laundry room so the tenant will have laundry capability and some storage space. We'll electrically isolate the two from the rest of the Mennonite house, so a potential tenant would only be paying for the current they actually use.

We will keep our workshops and storage downstairs as is. We're thinking about re-routing part of the driveway so that all three bays of the parking palapa can be used easily.

We'll see. A lot of this part is just possible ideas, no real action yet. We're hoping to be able to start construction sometime this week. Again, stay tuned.

 Let's see now. Oh yes. The September Celebrations here in Belize. Kind of a loose grouping of several holidays, kicking off with celebrating Belize's first strike for independence with the Battle of St. George's Cay on the Battle of St. George's Cay Day on September 10th, then Carneval (which is often spelled Carnival, or Carnaval, depending on where you live), with a big parade downtown on the 20th (yesterday), and on the 21st, today, Independence Day. There's a couple of smaller things thrown in there as well, but suffice to say, September is a pretty hard-partying month. Tough sometimes to get a lot else done then.

Speaking of Carneval, we had probably among the best seats in town to watch the parade. Chef Mike Wu, owner of Z-Restaurant (and his new logo below):
Mike's New Logo
It's cool when inspiration hits. I had fun designing it. I'm glad Mike liked it. So, back to the parade.

Here's out crew getting ready to do some bodacious spectating:
Most of the Group Ready to Watch
Chef Mike was nice enough to let us use the balcony above his restaurant to watch the parade - a great location. And the crowd, for Corozal, became quite huge. I've never seen that many people here.
San Antonio Village Dancers, Their Float, and Their Sound System
Virtually every float that came by had a sound system. I'm not talking a few hidden speakers to provide a little music, I'm talking major, blow out your windows, behemoth sound systems, complete with DJ and support crews - all drinking Belikin too!

I have about seventy-some more photos of the parade, etc., but I'm not going to put them up here. They'll all be loaded up to for your viewing pleasure.
Our Host, Chef Mike Wu, Taking a Break From the Kitchen to Watch the Parade
It was a glorious day for a parade. Overcast, so the marchers didn't get burnt too bad. It was hot, as usual, but hey, it's the Caribbean Tropics - You're supposed to sweat!.

We met about noon at Z-Restaurant for lunch, then about one-thirty - two-ish, made our way up to the balcony for the best parade any of us have seen in Corozal. Unlike today's Independence Parade, which is probably going to be a rain-fest, unless it lightens up. There's still time - it's only eleven AM.

So, there you are, about as up-to-date as I can get it for now. Hope you enjoy it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dave, I am happy that the Facebook interest has ended. I was concerned it might compromise the mission and I cannot permit that to happen Dave.